Voices on the Wind Voices in Tribute
*For Those They Left Behind by m.e.jackson November nineteen seventy, a loss and long flight home through murky skies of rain. The boys of gridiron, coaches, fans, sat back to mask defeat in silent dismal dark. Some failed to make the flight for causes yet to question why. When those aboard lit up the night, the runway never reached, their lives cut short, a plane reduced to ash, a town brought to its knees. Relentless sirens screamed the pain and grief, the smell of death so close it tolled of disbelief. No earthquake wave moved through the night, no raging storm or wind; but fiendish fingers strummed its violin and fate played on while green bled into red. The mourning stretched from days to weeks. Some we never knew, and laid to rest together where the living viewed eternally the souls who left that night. It started with a plaque, evolved into memorials only those men and women could come back to fill. Unlike the bird of myth and lore, return to life would never be. “The dead must be revered,” the voices from the crowd called out. And so the path was laid with memories for stones. Small steps then giant strides began as fifty yards stretched into forty years. And like the Phoenix rose, not golden wings, but helmets dressed with seven five, and wins to fill the dreams in green and white. Their song echoed across the hills, triumphant days returned, and with success, for one more time the fountain was turned off. But through the night a light appeared, emerging from inside to warm the hearts of those they left behind. *Written in iambic pentameter for the 45th Anniversary of the Marshall University Plane Crash, November 1970.