This Side of Heaven

Amelia's obsession was to
Circumnavigate the globe.
She followed fate and passion to a
Midnight departure from
Lae, New Guinea, 1937,
But never made it to
Howland Island.
Flying low and almost out of gas,
The Lockheed Electra fell silent,
Taking her passengers into decades of
Mystery and conjecture.
My father was eight went the water chose her,
And he has claimed the enigma as
His own obsession,
Fretting over the aviator's disappearance,
Reading every book,
Hoping that this or that story,
Would reveal the riddle.
Now, a new search has spotted suspicious debris
At the bottom of the ocean
Where her plane should be.
They will soon head back to a spot off Kiribati
For a close look.
But my father, aging and worried,
Fears he may not last long enough to hear the news,
And has asked that, if the plane is found,
I bring the news to his grave.
I will, I tell him, finding composure,
I'll bring a chair and a fresh bottle of Chivas,
Sit by your grave and read the article,
Maybe sprinkle some scotch over you,
I promise.
He says, I'd like that very much.
Still, hurry search party,
Head quickly to the underwater grave and bring back
Astonishing news immediately,
While my father is alive and can appreciate it on this side of heaven,
So he can solve the puzzle and enjoy the surprise.
There will always be a time for chairs and scotch.

© Poem Fix 2012
Image: Smithsonian Institution

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