December 21, 1988, a Boeing 747 traveling to New York crashed
in Lockerbie, Scotland. This was Pan Am flight 103.
the time I was attending Syracuse University. As the news continued
to come in about this event, a list of students from SU was released.
I knew one of the people on the plane.
Chapin sang about a person’s “Story of a Life”. Numerous others
have expressed similar thoughts… I once wrote in an old poem called
“Forever and Always” that “…we are all characters and critics
of the same play…”. So what to say about this person I knew on
flight 103? Would we have met again on campus had the plane not
been attacked? I don’t know. Perhaps just a passing mention in
my story never to be visited again, perhaps a full chapter, and
perhaps more. Or, for those believing in fate and destiny and
purpose, exactly what it was… an event with a small tie to my
I do know is that I wrote a poem at the time, for whatever emotions
and thoughts I had. I don't think I could tell you today what
I was truly feeling or thinking. I sent it off and had it published
in an anthology.
the United States reflects today, I find it somewhat appropriate
to reprint my poem here for a different anniversary. Nothing has
been changed from the original version written in 1989 and published
~ ~ ~
night I heard a star fell from the sky –
star fell from above
I’m left alone, simply wondering why
star fell carrying someone I love
I’ll never fill this emptiness in my heart
I find my mind filled with memories of you
at the very least that’s a start –
night I heard a star fell from the sky
I’m left alone simply wondering why
star fell from above –
star carrying someone I love.
~ ~ ~
effort was a true From the Backpack post at the In My Backpack
poem above first appeared in print in the American Collegiate
Poets Spring Concours 1990. Published by International Publications,
Los Angeles, California. All poets included in this collection
granted one-time publication rights, retaining title and other
rights to the work.