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Lament On A London Landing

A Memory of Burderop Park

When I was a gusty young airman
So many seesaw sunny days
Were spent with blue girls on Marlborough Downs
Our only access, a path both straight and narrow,
Thinnest and steepest in its final assent.  

Emotions of young lovers floated like kites
O'er pastoral scenes of sheep and suckling fields
Rare Wroughton landings and take-offs
Were sights to be seen but not heard.

Coy and demure tiny Burderop
You hid thy shy self
Under thicket and tumble of trees.  
Old, Old-Town of Swindon:  
Station – Spires – Steeples
Faint shadows through summer’s sultry breeze.

Ground and grass were closer to me then.
Lying in milk and fallow fields
And struck drunk by the silent sail-by:
Of fluff flotillas commanding cerulean seas
We’d tease and toy our differences
           of language, culture and sex.  

Now I am that airman no more, no more,
Yet from this window those familiar clouds
Bind me again to long-buried memories.

The cabin about me readies for landing;  
White puffy toadstools
Of soft summer’s swelter
Sprout up to challenge the sky;  
My jumbo jet swoops and bobs
Through the dinging posts and knobs
Of a giant’s pinball machine.  

Lofty, awesome goals had we
Like a world that’s safe for democracy,
But they’re no longer my life’s mission,
And “getting down” today won’t mean
What it meant when I was still not twenty-three.

The only rummager in my personals will be
This jaundiced-eyed official
Cold, stone-faced and standing right in front of me.  
“…And what do you have in here?” asks she,
In bureaucratic tones of authority
                         and condescending solemnity.

Ed Schussler, 2005

A memory shared by Ed Schussler , on Mar 12th, 2011.

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