I’LL BE SEEING YOU

 

I’ll be seeing you

You were so proud, dressed in blue,

the boy warrior crowned with eagles,

a knight errant on a steed of oil, engine, and

wings. Eager for the last noble cause.

What thoughts were by adrenaline bleached,

when you were sent into the sky,

by shrill phone and bell,

reaching higher than bird flight,

touching the hem of gods.

There to swirl, soar and dive

in deadly waltz with the black runes,

Your eyes, that would never look at your

own boy, and cry as he went to war,

your innocent eyes, scrutinizing the vast,

seeking black dots…….. and death.

And in that instant, when all was

frantic flight and fight,

image flashes of friend and foe,

shudders of gun-fire from and at you,

alone but for Snatches of radio voices

hinting at the fate of friends, and

warning of your Killer’s approach,

did you forget you’d promised all

would be well.

Not this time were you left in an empty sky,

thinking of a pint, looking down on your home.

No, it was your turn to stand-up a girl,

to be remembered only by an empty chair,

and a family’s broken heart.

No one saw the black arc,

the burnt oil smear that marked your fall

to glory, the pyre that was your end.

Added to an enemies tally,

removed from our roster.

A warrior no more,

forever a boy.

8 thoughts on “I’LL BE SEEING YOU

  1. Nigel, this poem is just great, from the title to the last line. Stunning in its quiet and low-key way which strengthens the emotional upheaval within me.
    “The boy warrior on a stead of oil, engine and wings.” You can feel him, excited and frightened. ….sent up just by a bell….feeling the hem of gods.

    “It was your turn to stand up a girl” , what a way to tell us he died.
    There isn’t a line in this poem that doesn’t touch deep.
    Thank you Nigel
    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Miriam, you’ve probably gathered it is about the ‘Battle of Britain’, where pilots were in a strange world of death and fury one minute and then literally down the pub they’ve been fighting above. I think this put an even greater strain on the young pilots. Also fighting on a front away from home, before the advent of today’s communications, must to some small degree permitted a level of detachment whereas fighting on the home front they would be surrounded by reminders of what they could lose yet driven to take risk, being in the public eye and feted so. Complex, frightening and unnecessary as all conflicts are.

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      1. Yes Nigel, i did realise it was from the Second World War. The Spitfire is also unmistakable. I think the drink after having made it was a necessary anaesthetic.
        I couldn’t agree more with your last sentence.
        miriam

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nigel this is brilliant and the way you have produced the audio made it feel like I was sat a home listening to a war broadcast on the wireless. Your last two lines sum up the consequence of war and even more, these boys who were battling above fields they would have played in and pubs they would have drank in. A stunning and atmospheric piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so pleased you picked up on the voice Davy, nobody mentioned it. I tried various filters, a radio and a telephone, of course the telephone sounded more ‘period’, the radio being very ordinary, modern fm no doubt . You’ve made my day, I put a lot of thought into it, like avoiding the magical but clichéd ‘we’ll meet again;.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nigel, I went to see the Darkest Hour a few days ago and your audio took me straight back to the film and the sound of Churchill’s war broadcasts. I shall be sounding you out for some training and tips.

        Like

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