(26 DEC 1943 / Wyandotte MI)

Soul Flight

in memoriam Woodrow (Woody) Rifenburgh

The soft purr of a Piper Cub
drifted over Italy's southern hills.
Soul stirred by the landscape’s song,
the young army pilot gently spoke.

“It’s mighty peaceful up here.”

Touching wheels to the tarmac,
Woody shed his flight suit
for an engineer’s desk
and placed a viola beneath his chin.

For three score years
Woody molded horsehair and wire into string song
steadying the orchestra’s midriff
with the vibrations of his spirit.

On Christmas Eve he played for the coming child,
fell stricken and flew his last flight
on instruments at Memorial.

Early New Year’s morn one could almost hear
the faint soft purr of a Piper Cub
as it banked to the right around the moon
and merged with the waiting heavens.

User Rating: 5 / 5 ( 0 votes ) 3

Comments (3)

It is the musicality of the telling that makes this piece so moving and yet so joyous at the same time. A beautiful tribute to a dearly loved and respected fellow musician. Sounds like he died as he lived - on a high! love, Allie xxxx
A touching tribute to a long lost friend. It's nice to imagine him still in flight somewhere out in the universe. Old pilots never die, they just fly off into the sunset. Beautiful piece, Robert. Linda
Elegaic, intense and very moving. Your heart is in this one and it shows. You are definately a poet worthy of the name. Regards, Sandra