To airmen crossing and communicant
With orders of this field, no landing here
But by the grace of God; no postulant
Piloting earthward should abuse his fear:
Trust in the instruments which fall their round,
Tonight the only ceiling is the ground;
Zero, from nothing into nothing made,
Signifies all of altitude that stayed.
Notice the fog that makes me all but blind;
Here in the tower my skeleton will do
To signal you. I am for all your kind
Tonight’s full complement and only crew.
Airmen, I hope you read loud and clear;
Your radios sound happy and sincere:
Roger, you say, and dive for wreaths of holly
Thinking the next voice heard will be as jolly.
Suggest you take along the death’s-head flag
And hope that waving it will set you free.
Judgment, like flights, may be a game of tag
And you can shake and plead the Varsity.
Say that team spirit was your only motive:
You shot them up and did a locomotive.
What if there is a temporary fetter?
Christ understands. He also got his letter.
I have you, heroes, holding each your course:
You shot them up a little, and you grope
Tonight with neither memory nor remorse;
My skull is watching in the radarscope.
I marvel as I track your sure downfall
How you can navigate or fly at all
For thinking of the tallies without log
Until you make an error in this fog.