Ready for Take Off – a poem by Whitney Friedrich

Online reservations-
the click, click of computer keys,
like M-16s loading up drown the
screams that ring out over Iraq as
our American Express cards bend in pain
from the rising price of travel.

The plane gains altitude,
And passengers grip their upright coffins-
They drink vodka tonics as children
Living in darkness scream in a place
we watch on the ten o’clock news.

Flight attendants please,
[double] cross-check and prepare
for takeoff. Ladies and gentlemen,
sit back and enjoy your non-stop ride to
World War III.

Then, seatbelts buckled, the plane rocks in
the turbulence that the pilot was too much of
an amateur to avoid and the plane goes down in
a screaming stream of smoke and ash and
ignorant glory as a voice crackles over the
intercom and the stench of burning hair envelops.

I wonder what this button does…

Whitney Friedrich can be contacted at

March 25, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web

The series—which will feature experts discussing their groundbreaking research on corals, ocean and atmospheric science, and how climate change is forcing communities to alter their long-range plans—will begin this week. ...

Octavia Bridges, a 20-year veteran of the University of Miami Police Department, has been promoted to oversee crime prevention and community relations on the Coral Gables Campus. ...

The Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection has given social scientists and psychologists another example to examine the behavior and actions of groups. ...

Some experts believe that pent-up demand will push the economy into a rebound after the majority of the U.S. population receives the COVID-19 vaccine. ...

All students are required to test negative for COVID-19 before attending any in-person classes, programs, or work shifts on any University of Miami campus. With the start of classes Monday, here is the critical information students need to know. ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.