In that prior war dubbed Desert Storm you die
Nameless, yet well call you Rashid
Brave fighter-pilot of the Iraqi airforce pushing your MiG-29
to the limit against your invader, high over Kirkuk
In this dogfight with an American F-15 it can be over in seconds
For either one
- and your onboard camera rolls to keep the images
that in this desperate match you may also see.
Cesar Rodriguez is the name of your foe, Rashid:
Hispanic American and a case, of how any career
may blossom in that great democracy
by skill and application.
From your camera,
later salvaged from the wreckage, its final image shows
One AIM7, which they nickname the "Sparrow":
- for Cesar and other taxpayers one cost $US 125,000
- now it looms into your canopy.
In the distant background corner of this image may be seen
Cesar - in his F-15
- he turns away below
from the launch of his Sparrow at you;
It seems like you, he is a family man ?
It seems, as a fellow flyer, he can respect you.
- it is never personal neither of you knows the other.
Like you Im sure he saw good prospects, in a flying career.
© Geoff Bolton
[web version : http://www.geoffbolton.net/Poetry/Poem2009-01_AIR-TO-AIR.html]