Pim Claridge

Life in the Scottish Borders, one stanza at a time

819 Squadron — Ballykelly

The nights were worst.
you left anticipating the challenge,
the thrill, the excitement.
Senior Pilot 819.
those nights when the dog
sensing my unease
lay listless, waiting.
at dawn you’d return
tired gaunt, and grey.

“sudden silence, no reply,
somewhere over the Irish sea”

that awful, churning, night black sea.

“some survivors, one dead”

my perception of life shifted.
I waited on the tarmac
the epitomy of calm,
among other waiting wives
the epitomy of calm.
we heard the plane growl closer,
drew closer to each other
seeking strength.

you came home etched in moonlight,
an angel on each wing.