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Aaltje lay on the warming deck

a jetty by the zee

the sound of gunfire overhead

roused her to survey

a solitary Wellington, pinned almost to the brine

behind it growled a predatory, fearsome 109

the little Jewess fixed and froze

as trying to gain height

the stricken bomber jettisoned

one engine now alight

and every hundred yards or so, when terror reached the ground

her eyes collected imagery, her ears recorded sound

the first three sent up torrents

and plumes of foam and rain

next had her falling face down

afraid to look again

the fifth it fell upon a place, that sanctified abode

where last hope of survival at great risk was bestowed

when in an instant it was gone

she lie there so alone

her saviours, family now destroyed

killed by a distant drone

the faith she had now blown apart by a very British plane

The farmer dead, her God AWOL, could she ever trust again

Aaltje was barely seventeen that sunny Summer's day

when stripped of all a girl could hold

her future torn away

and though she lived for sixty more

the War such a small part

that half a minute one June day

filled so much of her heart.


◄ Disturbing Night

Cupid and Psyche ►


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Christopher Dawson

Mon 28th Nov 2011 17:02

Thanks M.C., I had hoped for the 'distant drone' would signify that the plane had continued, and thus the participants in the combat could have no idea of the effect of the skirmish.

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 28th Nov 2011 14:21

This has the feel of a real incident in the telling. However, I'm somewhat confused about whether the life-changing damage was caused by falling engines from a damaged (presumed doomed) Wellington and/or jettisoned bombs from the same - at the hand of the German fighter 'plane.

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