The bomber kneels amongst its own decay,
silently surrendering to elements its name
finds difficult to resist. A Vulcan, earthed.

Not quite the most famous of its kind. Way back
on target to the Falklands, diverting to Brazil,
while sister bombs are falling, falling –
above the sudden call to arms, the Britishness
of making do, the many deaths, the saddened pride.

The menace of the Soviets, the breathless vortices
that twist and heal, the howl of engines from
lidded cowls, are gone – are only air that thins
beneath the damp umbrella of its wings. It always
comes to this. Only heritage and history are left.

The paint that dressed it for its role is cracked
and peels away. The gleaming white that meant
to turn aside atomic flash, exposed like bone.

Beside it squats Blue Steel. The brand evokes
the terror of the empty tin, and not the threat
of freedom by the sword. Its pitot tube is bent
into a hook. Cold war produced, its end corrodes.
Its blanked off rockets now deterrent the crows.