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Thursday, February 01, 2024


by Barbara Simmons

Since Amelia Earhart disappeared more than 85 years ago while attempting to fly around the world, people have been searching for her plane with hopes of solving the mystery behind her final flight. Now, an underwater exploration company says they may have found it about 15,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Deep Sea Vision says it captured a sonar image [above] of a plane that matches the dimensions of the Lockheed Electra aircraft Earhart was flying on July 2, 1937. —The Washington Post, January 31, 2024

We love the story, her setting off
to circle the globe, her route 
marked cleanly on the map, 
as is her disappearing point.  
We’ve loved the stories since, scenarios
not yielding happy endings, 
but ways to keep Amelia alive, perhaps
as prisoner, spy, or living out a secret life.
We’ve climbed with those aboard Itasca
signaling hope along with charts,
shedding tears enough to fill the oceans,
not knowing where she lay, nor why.
The sonar image we see now, sent from
a depth much deeper than full fathom five,
resembles what she flew, now resting
far below, scant hundred miles from where
she’d chosen to refuel.  And if this proves
to be the place her coral bones and pearl eyes rest,
her story has its ending.  We’re left with answers,
not with mystery. We miss the question
we maybe wish unanswered, embedded
forever as you’ve been, still flying,
seeking wide and open and free, beyond
a world of narrow, closed, and occupied.

Barbara Simmons, is a Boston-born Californian, a Wellesley College and The Writing Seminars (Johns Hopkins) alumna, a retired educator. She savors life with words to remember, envision, celebrate, mourn, and understand. Publications include Boston Accent, The NewVerse News,  DoubleSpeak, Soul-Lit, Capsule Stories, Journal of  Expressive Writing, and Writing it Real publications.  She was recognized with First Place in the last two annual San Jose Library Spring into Poetry contests, and has published a book of poetry, Offertories: Exclamations and Disequilibriums (Friesen Press), 2022.