THE GREAT ESCAPE

by Anton Wills-Eve


Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write

I’ve used the title instead.

a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/silver-screen/">Silver Screen</a>

                        The Great Escape


I remember the helicopter being hit,

Forcing us downwards in a spin.

Six of us on board, all scared to death,

Each one feeling his fear begin

To take control of heart and mind,

About to discover who was brave or yellow

Or just a normal, petrified young man,

Voice barely heard above the engines’ bellow.

Jim, the pilot, gave in to his panic first

As we brushed the jungle trees below.

He screamed “ I can’t, I can’t just let me out’,

Undid his harness and jumped. I’ll never know

Whether he lived or died because all I cared

Was whether I could fly the chopper in his place.

The others pushed me into Jim’s empty seat

As I tried to focus on the controls before my face.

Fred, the comic of our little band,

Then lost the plot as he deliberately blew

His brains out and slumped across his gun.

Willy tipped his body out continuing to chew

Relentlessly on his soft, cool mint gum.

Somehow I kept us flying straight, though now

It was more by luck that we made it to a clearing

With room to land. “Someone, please tell me how!”

Side to side we swayed among the branches

Then Jeff screamed “Fire. Look, at the back.”

A burning stench took the breath from all of us.

Tony and I, in front, saw the oncoming attack,

Shells shattered our windscreen, blinded, Tony fell

Sideways into the jungle. My best buddy. Dead.

In hell I ceased to care about the guns or fire,

Save the others! But I ran out of time instead.

The chopper lurched smashing, side-on, into a tree;

Sheared in half, the rear exploded leaving me alone

Swinging from a branch by only my parachute cord.

I Looked down, the ground was miles away and a bone

Stuck crookedly out of my lower leg. “God take me,”

I remember praying out loud. Agonising pain and fear

Accompanied me, sliding downwards through the jungle.

The earth rushed up, and the ground was deathly near.

Vision blurred,

The last sound I heard,

Maybe the last word,

Was, “Nurse. Absurd!

“Not even a bird

Could survive that fall”.

But I did. After all,

All the dead can recall

Is a flag for a pall

And a lone bugle call.

Anton Wills-Eve

_____________

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