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Jumping In Air

1942 She snapped her static line onto the anchor cable and listened for the sound of the engines throttling back. One other before her had nodded and jumped into the dark night. She felt the bag on her leg, put her hands on either side of the opening. She looked straight out to the invisible horizon, even though it was dark. And pushed herself out the door. A night jump. Before she counted to three she floated and felt the cool air all around her. She felt her heart beat strong and free, her body a weightless toy. She even hoped she could use the safety chute- just this once- but she was jerked hard, upwards. Her mission below depended on a safe landing fall in a farmer’s field. She howled into the air. At the enemies anywhere. For her camarades de compagne below. Je suis libre! Je viens! I am free! I am coming! The air. It has freed me! Again. She dropped her supply bag to her boot, touched the pouch with her mission papers, saw the few fires below marking landing space and felt for the rushing ground to meet her. 1966 She jumped off the dock, her yellow sun suit pressing against her, the air cool, the kids in the pond laughing, playing. She would join them! She floated and turned, weightless, nothing, arms out like wings. Turning, turning. Then, something grabbed her suit and suspended her, and brought her back. Even after the scolding- You can’t swim, you’re too young, don’t ever- -she still floated and turned and turned and dreamt of jumping again and again into air.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021

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