Landing On the Hudson
The birds had ended the engines’ song.
The plane’s still flying but not for long.
Not land, but liquid. This place that beckoned,
All cold and swift.
The only lane left, and it’s not right.
The path means a turn-around tight.
Here we go. “Brace for impact,” Sully said.
Oh no. Cold and swift.
Heads down the riders gave no cry.
Perfect was the line down from the sky.
Thin tail in. Fat nose out. Hold it, hold it.
Blam! Cold and swift.
Are we there yet? Oh, yes, we are.
Heads up. Look around. Landed, 5-star.
Wheels up, the winged boat floated
Downstream, cold and swift.
Window-doors loosed. Out, out. Get out!
Women and children first, came the shout.
All headed forward after trying aft.
Outside. Currents cold and swift.
Wet wings floated just long enough. Not wide.
Slides turned to boats. Sit or stand side by side.
Twice Sully patrolled the bird. Quickly all out.
Water rose inside, cold and swift.
Boats everywhere. Angels gathering souls.
All hands safe. First responders consoled.
It was the Miracle on the Hudson,
So cold and swift. Impossible.
They all said ditching could not be done.
All points in place. White head, plan begun.
Steady hands, he’d trained all his life for this.
Calculations were cold and swift.
It all came together, landing on the city river.
And it worked. Riders in blankets all a-shiver.
Amazing. Grace. It was a song
On the Hudson, cold and swift.
Copyright by Carol Gee
January 23, 2009
Update — ** Hero’s welcome for Hudson pilot **
BBC News (1/25/09): “The pilot who safely landed a jet in New York’s Hudson River gets a hero’s welcome in his home town in California.”