The Pilot

His card read:
“Willie Brand –
Aviator Extrordinaire.
Singer of Sentimental Ballads
Soft Shoe Dancer
Soldier of Fortune
Mississippi Gambler
Lover of Beautiful Women
Have Helicopter . . . Will travel.
Specialist in;
Revolutions, Civil Wars, Gun Running,
Smuggling, Bootlegging, Orgies,
Prayer Meetings,
And Church Socials.

We worked well together
He
In the air
I
On the ground
Survival depends on trust

Nighttimes
We sat
Round a campfire
Talking of our youth
He
Of the love he’s left behind
I
Of my wife
He
Of all that he had done
I
Of all that I was going to do
He
With no hope
I
With
“What the hell do you mean you’ve done it all,
Shit man, you’re only twenty-five years old.”

“I’ve already outlived
My life expectancy,
As a
Helicopter pilot.
Last time
We went to town,
I had my will drawn.”

The sun just risen
Warming my back
The cold blast
From the helicopter
Hovering overhead
As we placed the last
Of the concrete foundations
For the new power plant.
Unshackled
The chopper moved away
The rear blade shattering
As it struck a tree
The chopper careening
Drunkenly
To make its way to land
Safely

Willie Brand
Aviator Extrordinaire
Stepped from the cockpit
And strutted
Cocklike
Into the gyre.

 

Braden Corby ©