Endless Repose

Members of the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team parachute into Normandy on Wednesday, in Sannerville.

I unhook straps. Ten seconds remain. Then, I’ll be buried in the tender gray. 

I swim undisturbed above the sleeping enemy. Cloud coverage, my truest companion. Better than any bullet proof vest. 

Seven seconds. We’re ordered to stand. I’m put off by the potpourri of men’s aftershave. Smells more like a family wedding than a platoon about to dive behind enemy lines. 

“Protocol.” Sarg. stresses routines, though I’m doubtful many of us will make ground. 

Four seconds. I grip my static line. Move towards the open door. Occasional artillery fire lights up the darkness with false stars. The pilot says we won’t get a second pass. He’s had to increase altitude.

Farther to fall means a longer time as targets. Greater odds I’ll be picked off by an alert patrolman. 

Gravity will get me there, but not without the risk of endless repose.

© 2022 | K.Hartless

dVerse Prosery — On This Day: Happy December 5 Birthday Poets

Lisa is host for tonight’s 144 word challenge incorporating these lovely lines:

In the tender gray,
I swim undisturbed.
by Celia Dropkin,
from “Sullivan County”


  1. A brilliant, smooth inclusion, K; and right off the bat! Not to mention the tale, which is perfectly crafted & had me counting seconds along with the trooper. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, worms. I read the original poem for the first time tonight, and really enjoyed the imagery, especially the raspberry thorns reaching up. It sort of lead to this idea of the grey, protective clouds.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliantly done! This is such a creative take on the prompt, but one that feels so real. I felt that tension. I want to say I hope he makes it, but then–we don’t even know who he or what side he’s fighting for or what he will do if he does make it. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I think you really captured that sense of risk and the unknown. I also enjoyed the unique use of the given line, the way you broke it up….and the gray of those clouds becoming a protective place to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you kindly, Mish. I had this idea instantaneously, so I’m glad I went with it. Those gray clouds aren’t going anywhere around here. Have us all in a bit of a lull.


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