One passenger believed it was her husband,

the ship’s jolt just another expression of their love.

Others thought it was an earthquake

or a mishap in the galley—

a runaway trolley, a stack of fallen dishes.

The baker wasn’t sure what happened

though he hoped his loaves would not fall.


While airtight after airtight compartment filled,

a second-class passenger ordered his drink

with chunks from the berg,

and a small child sucked pieces of ice

as if they were candies,

her brothers scraping up snowballs,

their mother worried only

they could lose an eye.