Neubooterdammerung, 12: Ruth Aylett

The Last Spitfire


In their persuasive speeches the past

has that cheerful  bounce

of music-while-you-work, the taste of

NHS orange juice and digestives,

(not cod liver oil and powdered egg),

offers you a seat on the red plush

of the BBC Coronation commentary,

with all that possessive pink on the map,

and the Few, flying with or without their legs.


‘Here are the controls’ they say, ‘off you go,

on your own, as they were too. But watch out

for bogies diving down from the sun:

here’s your trigger, a rattle or two

and they’ll be gone.’ Which seems good,

until the air begins to feel empty,

minus film certainties, the plane rolls;

why is navigation so difficult?

How does anyone know where to go?

Looping the loop of nostalgia

makes the ground rush up so fast.

Spectators are scattering, screaming.

Tell us what to do next…


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