Dawn Flight ~ A Story

Alpine Barn

Alpine Barn (Photo credit: Petur)

A Five Sentence Fiction

Captain Bobby Rossi, late of the 307th Fighter Squadron, United States Army Air Corps, was awakened this fourth morning of his escape from Locano Canavese prison camp by the rumble of the heavies–B-24 Liberator bombers–overhead, just like he was back in his airfield bunk in Sicily.

But, feeling the week’s worth of beard stubble and the smell of goats on him, he remembered he was in a barn only a few miles from the Swiss border owned by signora Lenzi, who he surprised the night before with his hidden presence and ability to say to her in Italian, “Aiutami, ti prego, io sono un pilota americano, do you understand?…an American flyer.”

Signora Lenzi told him he could spend the night, but must leave at dawn, lest the German soldiers patrolling the border passes to Switzerland find him and kill them both.

“I wonder if any of my guys are up there supporting those Libs,” he breathed as he opened the barn door and peered at the sky for any specks that might be 307th Squadron Spitfires and wishing he was flying in one instead of in the midst of an entirely different type of flight.

Between his heart pounding loudly and the roar of 200 Pratt & Whitney engines aloft, Rossi never heard signora Lenzi’s appasionato, Unteroffizier Gunter Grenze slip up and place the muzzle of his Mauser pistol behind the pilot’s ear with a whispered, “Hallo, amerikanisch.”

Here’s a Five Sentence Fiction using Lillie McFerrin’s prompt word FLIGHT.

Bienvenido al Purgatorio

Fresno Couple

Photo © Tom Clark, 2011

When she arrived, I wished
mi cara welcome to Purgatory,
this stopover on our journey
from Hell to Heaven.
It is much like the fable
the black padres taught us about
the comforts of the Afterlife.
A myth, no more. But a myth
is better than nothing. Yes?
Perhaps a Heaven really is just
over that hill where the sun
sleeps with tomorrow.

For tonight, though, I am sleeping
with mi ángel, a gift like
cool rain dropped from the clouds.
She comforts my dreams
with her body as I hold
hers together with mine.
Our coupling is a prayer
for the rest of our journey,
where, without fear, we test
the truths of Purgatorio and Paraiso,
because muerte, death, is just
another fork in our road.

I wrote this free-write poem in response to a prompt from my friend Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday for June 14, 2013. She asked me to look at some dramatic photographs from multi-genre artist Tom Clark. I chose this one and tried to I imagine a simple man lying there with his lover trying to reach their Paradise together…one way or another.


Eden waiting

Eden waiting (Photo credit: HibaHaba)

We wear tags around our necks here,
lest they be impounded like dogs.
Except, unlike our canine brethren,
because we wear these badges
bearing puppy-aged portraits
of when we were captured,
we are impounded,
shut into cubicle kennels.

I’m digging my way out.
Right now. More each day.
I use a penpoint shovel to make holes
in the grounding of reality and,
if need be, I’ll sprout wings
made of white paper to fly to you.
You who abet my escape by investigating
my daily forays toward freedom.

Each time you pick me up,
pull me out of this dreadful state,
I’ll get frantically excited,
my mind will wriggle
with more tail-wagging
tale waggery. I may even tinkle.
It can be a messy business,
this blessed escapism.


Jacques Plante, 1944 - 1945 / Shawinigan Falls...

Jacques Plante, 1944 – 1945 / Shawinigan Falls, Quebec (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know they’re over there, the new folks.
I can hear their little dog wailing,
smell their wood fire smoking.
Their odd bit of fence ensures
our mutual exclusivity.

Where once I could see sunsets kiss
goodnight the far treetops, a demi-MacMansion
and two-panel length of stockade fence,
just wide and high enough, block leafy horizon,
the only view I care about out back.

The fence reminds me of a stand-up goalie,
isolated, moving forward out of his crease
to appear bigger than he really is and block
sight of his goal. If that’s their goal…
well played.

I’m sure, like Frost’s abutting stone-stacker,
the idea of the fence gives a feeling of masked,
tall and suburban Jacques Plante-ness.
I feel the diminution of my view of Nature
and ancient memory of what neighbors were.

I’m thinking of planting a new sun kissing tree.
Deke right, head fake up, wrister. Five hole.


Lines of Demarcation

Surrounding us in every direction, limned
in every possible form, these boundaries
and borders, these lines of demarcation.
We can barely step away from them,
they’ve  so entrapped and squeezed our lives.
Do we draw them to keep others away
or to keep our respective enclaves
of body, mind and soul within?

Strokes of natural and man-made
geography, you mountains, oceans,
rivers, borders, colors, words on a page,
the signatures conscribing them against us,
are constructs that have lost their
constricting hold on this lacerated heart,
this freed mind, this scarred but open soul.

Each day, I look into blazing dawn’s

bright smile blurring and erasing
so many margins long marking my reserve,
my captivity. I know I can cross them now,
like they’re maps strewn across the floor,
mere cursive Ts in my notebook.
This syllogism may be false, but I’m a man
of many faults on the run to the next dawn.