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Kittyhawk, December 1903

 

A cup of carefully filtered gasoline

drove their wings against the flat wind

that made the Outer Banks a wreckers' coast.

 

Its fumes dispersed across the dunes

before the telegraph could report the flight

to a curiously un-hearing world.

 

They'd still fully to master the air,

just revealed the transparent fringe

storm-birds flying ahead of a tempest.

 

The brothers struck camp for Christmas

back in Dayton Ohio, with the Bishop

the sister and, at last, their grail.

 

Full conquest took a few more years

chasing the invisible around Huffman Prairie

learning to control their Flyer.

 

Then patent fights, manufacturing rights

refinement, disclosure, military sales.

The tempest wrote long lines across the sky.

 

Courtesy of Noel Whittall October 2002

 

 

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All pages The University of Liverpool, 2003 | Last reviewed 04/02/2004 . Disclaimer.