He turned, saw the landed Defiant,

And a gathering crowd.

He sensed the unbearable silence,

As they stood with heads bowed.

He ran to where airmen were lifting

A boy from the plane;

He could see at a glance any medic

Would be summoned in vain.

No point in regret at assigning

The gunner his place;

Instead he was focused upon

Whispered words; ashen face.

There were those with the devil's own luck

When they took to the skies;

And those where the Fates were less kind,

Like this lad with grey eyes.

There he stayed for those few fleeting minutes;

His last ones on earth.

Well aware just how much

Every brief, precious second

Was worth.


A/N: Inspired by a scene in "Biggles Sweeps the Desert"