Fighter pilotI think that it will come, somewhen, somewhere,
In shattering crash, or roaring sheet of flame;
In the green-blanket sea, choking for air,
Amid the bubbles transient as my name,
Sometimes a second's throw decides the game;
Winner take all, and there is no re-play.
Indifferent earth and sky breathe on the same.
I scatter my ast chips, and go my way.
The years I might have had I throw away:
The only lead to winter's barren pain.
Their loss must bring no tears from those who stay,
For spring, however spent, comes not again.
When peace descends once more like gentle rain,
Mention my name in passing, if you must,
As one who knew the terms Ð slay o be slain.
And thought the bargain was both good and just.
(The poet served in the Royal Canadian Airforce and was killed on September 28 1943.)
Published in a Dutch newspaper in 1946.