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Veteran

10 Nov
Veteran
"Be alert, they're on the move,"
the audio squawks, "Eyes peeled!"
Through the chatter of flashing flak,
his Supermarine hums on.

It's October 27th, 1941
involved in a battle that must be won.
Hunted by a feral hound unknown, 
on blasts of fate, he's thrown.

Some say the Spitfire swayed the war.
Nimble and quick, this fighter was;
Winged Rolls-Royce of British lore,
a legend fans still adore.

There and then, his plane's out-flanked.
A Messerschmidt roared up and banked;
its talons raked his cockpit's shell,
jolting slammed against his skull.

The panel instruments go insane,
drenched in fuel, & he's aflame
ejected how? he couldn't explain,
aloft, on fire, outside the plane.

Hanging on chute straps, flesh charred & seared;
the bird returned as his vision cleared.
Coming right at him. Why? He knows.
He draws his last before he goes.

Somehow he managed his trademark smile;
He'd make his exit dressed in style,
Smiling, saluted the pilot, midair -
The ace snapped it back but only could stare.
 
a 6-foot-6 soldier, with clothing afire
harnessed and torn, torched & bleeding,
but for a miracle - an aerial pyre,
a rain cloud quenched him, interceding.

He swooned, coated with blood and vomit,
passed through the sky, a smoldering comet.
Descended on Dunkirk, with Nazis awaiting;
four years a prisoner of their hating.

60 years later, fading, he lay
still, shrapnel filled from that earlier day,
hemorrhaging within, the doctors all went
his last words as he crashed,
"…a hell of a predicament…."

Epilogue:

But as he dropped
through the murky unknown,
was caught up with laughs
mirroring his own.
Loved ones were waiting
to comfort him home.


 
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Posted by on November 10, 2021 in Poetry

 

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