Here, present, ready in the ready room.
Our time is devoted to preparation,
disciplined routine, habitual watchfulness.
We are poised, adrenaline neatly coiled
for the challenge. We expect injury or bliss.
We are set to slip instantly into times
when all we know, all we are,
is the pure attention to our task,
moment after perfect moment
with no road forward and no path back.
We are standing by, coffee on,
insurance paid, belts tensioned,
latest critical updates installed.
We are ready, scanning the perimeter.
Bring it on. Your move.
We are ready to hold the fort or sally forth.
Our reaction will be swift. We are ready
for some football, for financial security.
We are ready to rumble, ready
for the winter white sale.
We can pick it up, fix it, oil it, shovel it.
We are on the edge of our seats,
leather jackets and fleece,
flicking away butt after butt,
our throats parched, watching, listening.
We never think ‘what if it doesn’t come.’
It will come, unexpectedly.
Except that we do expect it.
We have scoped the area ahead of time.
We have the drop on it.
Our tanks are filled. We have slept well.
We can hold our breath a long time.
We have all the supplies, all the spares.
We have cut into the restraints so that they
will give way instantly at one determined swipe.