Hindenburg

Jacqueline Jules

Though I was born 20 years later,
I always knew what grownups meant
when they said, “Hindenburg.” A word
that still means “disaster.” Something
that burns, blows up, falls from the sky.

It was only recently, in a museum,
that I learned anyone had survived the fire.
62 to be exact. More than half of those on board,
some actually unscathed, at least physically.

36 dead in the final toll. Yet after
the photos and newsreels, not to mention
that man on the radio, crying, “Oh, the humanity!”
the public did not forget or forgive, making me
wonder why a tragedy from 1937 lives on
while so many others fade.

Was it a Japanese plane that went down with 500?
How many were lost in the Pan Am flight
or that Malaysian mystery?

I can’t remember.

Yet the Hindenburg remains immortal,
ending the airship industry,
disturbing the status quo.


About the Author

Jacqueline Jules is the author of three chapbooks: Field Trip to the Museum (Finishing Line Press), Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications), and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her work has appeared in over 100 publications, including Lowestoft ChronicleThe Paterson Literary ReviewCider Press Review, Potomac Review, Inkwell, Hospital Drive, and Imitation Fruit. Visit her online at https://metaphoricaltruths.blogspot.com/