POEMS in MEMORY of the MADRID PLANE CRASH, 20 AUGUST 2008

SURVIVORS

[41 year old female doctor.]

After we got to the take-off zone,

the pilot apologized;

said he would have to return

due to a technical problem.

They fixed the problem

which he later said

was related to the air conditioners.

Then as we took off,

I heard a horrible noise.

The plane rocked from side to side.

I began to suspect the worst.

The next thing I was flung out

of the aircraft.

I do not recall what happened next.

I was on the bank of a river

and I saw people, smoke, explosions –

When I lifted my head,

as I could barely move,

all I saw around me

were scattered bodies.

The incredible heat

from the wreckage engulfed the air,

and when the wind changed,

I could hardly breathe.

I protected my face with my arm

and heard people, children,

crying for help.

I was going to die

if help didn’t arrive soon.

Firefighter

I took one of the children

into the lorry and he thought

he was in a film.

” Where’s my dad?

When will this film end?

Could you please stop this film?”

Emergency Rescue Worker

It doesn’t look like a plane.

Everything got burnt

and mauled under heat,

the fuselage, the body, the wings.

It’s madness beyond imagination.

All you see is a kilometer of charred land

And whole pieces of the fuselage

scattered here and there.

The bodies were boiling hot,

and we burnt ourselves collecting them.

It’s the closest to hell that I’ve seen.

Aunt

My six-year-old nephew

has been saved,

but we know nothing

of his sister

who was traveling

at his side.

Let’s hope she lost her memory

and can’t say her name

at the hospital.

Wife

” My husband texted me at 12.30 pm.

” My love, there’s a problem with the plane.”

I phoned him back. Told him

to get off the flight.

” They won’t let me off,” he says,”

she stares.

” My mother called him,” the son says,

and said that he should get off

but my father said

they would not let him.”

” I’d kill the bastard who did this,”

a taxi driver who drove past

the Madrid convention centre,

which had also been used as a makeshift morgue

after the al-Qaeda train bombing of March 2003,

shouted at the television crew.

The bastard” he talked about

was a flight attendant

who did not survive the crash.

Medical Psychologist

It’s much more traumatic

when it happens to a child.

It hits the country much harder

because it is against nature.

The larger the number

of children who died,

the more profound the grief.

Traveling Couple

” Today is another birthday…

We arrived three minutes late

at the airport

and they let us check in,

so we did not make it to the gate.

We ended up finding a new flight.

And that’s when we discovered the plane

we just missed had crashed.”

” At first, we saw people running.

And we stood there watching.

We had no idea what was happening.

Then when we heard

that the plane had crashed

My mouth dropped open.”

” You’re not going to believe it,

but we were about to fly

to the Canary Islands,

where we come from.

And we are still going to fly

with Spanair.”