Black mirrors, black magic, black ice
Fog in a black night sky,
Propellers whirring above us.
Outside what seemed like cotton wool
Whitish-grey, sightless, soundless,
Blacking out stars and a sliver of moon.
Flying only by instruments, trust in our pilot.
Trust in his talent and professionalism.
At last! The order to return to our base camp.
The helicopter banks steeply into a turn,
We only see ground when we land upon it.
Hearts in mouths, hands on Berets,
We run towards the darkened buildings of camp.
Huddled together in the Sargeant’s mess
We drink tea laced with Irish whisky,
To calm our shattered nerves.
There is talk of overnight accommodation
If the night’s fog does not lift.
We are lucky, another hour
And the night sky was clear.
We clambered aboard the Chinook
The load-master helping us on, one by one.
Strapped in , the flight only took twenty minutes.
Then hovering just above the ground of our home base,
We made the jump; more graceful than our male colleagues!
Then we ran doubled over into the cover of buildings;
Just as we’d been trained-home again-safe and sound!
©Carolina de la Cruz – The Vixen of Verse – 2015
Note: This poem was written from personal experience during my time in HM forces from 1978 – 1982.