March 2017

Back to Issue 1

The Night Witches

By B.R. Dionysius

Flimsy as broomsticks, we climbed aboard

for one last superstitious sortie. Night Witches

the Germans named us – canvas stretched

over our wooden frames, dried like caribou

hides on an antler rack. Biplanes, obsolete

as witch hunts; as ever night was our only

protection. Winter wind sharp as a propeller

blade cut through our leather cloaks, the open

coffins of our canopies where our bodies were

already bestowed. Flak bit at our craft like guard

dogs gunning for prisoners. We dropped our

bombs & lighter than barrage balloons limped

home, horses gone lame. We gave our planes

their noses as Arctic gales garrotted our words.