Lorena Hickok Writes to Amelia Earhart

Congratulations on your newest ad
for soap or sponge cake. Was it soufflé?
Some buoyant thing. Days grind me flat
as Kansas, twice as cold. Hick, darling, stay,
you scribbled. Yes, I want you too.
Fresh memos full of typos flurry down.
The president and she are fighting (true?).
Our Eleanor, cinched in a too-tight gown,
scandalizes all the frumps at tea,
bragging how you touched her shoulder once
and smiled at her. God, why can’t she hear
how foolish she sounds, talking school-girl mush.
My aviatrix, how the jilt would sting
if our First Lady knew you wear my ring.
Eleanor Remembers

Amelia, the days devastate me like you,
defiant and total. Brutal, like you.

The sky? Quieter than light on a spoon.
Tonight someone breathed near my ear. She wasn’t you.

Lowering clouds. My hands ache. No clues.
Did the waves, thirsty for altitude, take you?

I collect every clipping, and soon,
Franklin says, they’ll stop looking for you.

Alone, I stroke the hem of that scarf. It’s blue.
I knotted it twice when I flew with you.

Every winged thing’s reckless. I knew.
I said, Eleanor, she’s not coming back for you.
~ ~ ~

Joshua Davis holds MFAs in Creative Writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine and from the University of Mississippi. Recent poems have appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, Monster Verse, and Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters. He is currently finishing a Ph.D. at Ohio University.