"Wish me luck..."  
  She waits
In the late twilight,
Shivering in the wind
That scoops up
Over the lip
Of the chalk cliff.

She waits,
Listening to the
Throb of the
Wimpy's engines
As the squadron nears
Her look-out post.

She waits
For a glimpse of a
Gauntleted hand
Waving at her eye level,
The hand that caressed
Now ready to trigger the tail guns.

She waits,
Keeping watch
Ears straining to catch
The returning flight,
Waiting to count the returned
And the missing.

She waits
Past the dawn...
Waits for the missing...
And waits...
And waits.

Clare Stewart
© 20 October, 2002


So many women stood and watched their men fly off on bombing raids and waited in vain for them to return. In this poem, loosely based on an incident in my mother's war-time life, I have reflected on her, and their, experience.
"Wimpy" was the affectionate nickname given to the Vickers Wellington bomber.