Fleet Fighter

Olivia Fitzroy

"Good show !" he said, leaned his head back and laughed.
"They're wizard types !' he said, and held his beer
Steadily, looked at it and gulped it down
Out of its jamjar, took a cigarette
And blew a neat smoke-ring into the air.
"After this morning's prang I've got the twitch;
"I thought I'd had it in that teased-out kite."
His eyes were blue and older than his face,
His single stripe had known a lonely war,
But all his talk and movements showed his age,
His jargon was of aircraft and of beer.
"And what will you do afterwards ?' I said.
Then saw his puzzled face and caught my breath.
There was no afterwards for him but death.
Olivia Fitzroy