Megan Collins: “When I heard that nearly 300 people died in the Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed in Ukraine on Thursday, I couldn’t comprehend the size of that loss. Three hundred people is more than went to my high school at one time, but that number still felt too abstract to me. I found that I could only fathom the weight of that tragedy by thinking of it in terms of its smallest parts—the items that everyone packs, the familiar routines of a flight, and the goodbyes that nobody ever anticipates will be final. Focusing on these things brought the situation to light for me: these people, who’d packed up their things and held onto boarding passes with their destinations written on them, had believed that their lives would go on.”
Note: This poem has been published exclusively online as part of a new project in which poets respond to current events. A poem written within the last week about an event that occurred within the last week will appear every Sunday at Rattle.com. To have your own poem considered for next week’s posting, submit it here before midnight Friday PST.