They call us for breakfast in the half-light. Four more empty chairs today, Ma. We scramble first around seven, back, refuel, rearm. They bring us sandwiches. We scramble again, then a third. At dusk, those of us who are left stay on readiness. They want us to fly at night now we are so few. Porter nodded off in his cockpit. When I do sleep, my mind still flies. Peter presses his wedding ring into my hand. “Send her this,” he says. “I know I won’t be coming back.” I visit Harry. His feet are burnt, and his hands are burnt. His nose, eyes, lips. I watch Burrell nosedive into the waves. We say we’re not scared, but who in England ever prayed for bad weather? We pray very hard. The sky stays blue as eternity. I will never send you this, Ma. Glorious weather. That’s all I can say.
Sharon Telfer
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