For most of summer there is no sunrise in Antarctica
no banishing of dark
no painting of dawn.
At 4:15 am, the sky usually retina contracting bright
is bruised with cloud
razor blade grey – Soviet Berlin grim.
Quilted quiet is everywhere
the sleeping in dawn of a public holiday.
Routine talks loudly over whispers of uncertainty
anxiety is placed on standby.
In the mess hall, unfamiliar faces and urgent calm
a crime scene from which the body has been removed
alien and unmysterious
like a child knowing a never before tone
and as a parent begins ….“Grandad …..”
comprehension just is. And everything else appendix.
Cryptic military patois.
An aircraft incident
Knowledge forms to shock. Explanation can wait.
A plane crash
emphasis on the first syllable – fate.
An army marches on its stomach
breakfast must be served.
The queue is scanned for missing faces.
Later names are matched. I knew both.