Way up in the blue
I once flew high
With a few young men
in times gone by

Once but one
In a flock of many
Flecked in drab and silver
Shinny like a penny

I once flew on
Though holed and scared
struggling on home
hoping my boys be spared

Battered and bruised
I limped on that way
protecting those men
giving them life until today

I saw the world
From Midway and Berlin
To Luzon and Russia
In time, I’d see them all again

I once flew high
from war retired
above Redwood and Pine
fighting a raging fire

Not always to fight
So many times I flew
but bringing great hope
to those I rescued

So many of my kin
now find themselves today
in so many other forms
A count, I can not say

But here I sit
So old and so tired
upon a black tarmac
quite permanently retired

A young man,
a boy about his arm
Standing under my wing
Protection from sun’s harm

They stand and they stare
they point and they awe
At those who are new
To tell stories what they saw

But as the sun grows late
Way up in that sky
The man turns towards me
A single tear in his eye

“You saw great things today”
He tells his young son
“But the real stories lay
with this old girl and her guns”

“You see we’re here today
for that fight up in the sky
and what this plane did
with her boys that bleed and died.

”And as they walk away
their steps as loud as flak
He begins to tell my story
and I see the boy gaze back

And so it is I sit
one of the last of my kind
old and dull I certainly am
but my lot I do not mind

For long as I sit here
our stories will be told
another generation knows
our worth, our weight in gold

But what I do like best
Is that special time when
though it is a brief moment
I take to the skies again

For the B-17s that flew and the men that fought 1941-1945
By Troy Lyman, April 2, 2005


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