Paratrooper's Gracious Descent—Mother Earth Below

Written by: Joseph Spence Sr

It was the day I wanted the most
Yet dreaded as the worst,
Seeing the jumpmaster’s eyes
Way up there in the sky,
Waiting for the scream
“This is a paratroopers’ dream
Stand in the door—lean and mean!”
C130 paratrooper’s Jet, 1500 feet above earth
M16 Weapon by my side, ready to hit the dirt 

Knees bent as a dog’s leg on the ledge
Crackling nerves on screeching edge
Cotton dried mouth like a Sahara’s wedge
Soldier before me threw up his lunch
Stomach flipping—fear gripping  
Paratrooper’s static lines scraping, moving
Shinny brand new paratrooper’s boots 
Shivering to a shuffling groove
Trembling to its new roots

Cold palms slippery from sweating
Camouflaged face twitching like electric shocking
Eyes like a road map dredged with red
Boots shuffling towards the elliptical edge
Heard the jumpmaster’s words 
“Go, go, go—jump soldier!”
I felt like a lonely hanging leaf 
Growing from the side of a cliff
Just dangling in the breeze
Like a trapeze with distance in between

The moment of truth arrived
Saw the green paratrooper’s light
Heard the Jumpmaster’s voice—“Go!”
Cannonball leap into the rushing breeze 
Wings of angels—still praying all the more
One thousand…two…three…four…
Parachute opened above—“Puff!”
Then I knew from the Lord
As I descended safely below
I am still His beloved!