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For Lilya Litvyak
You belong to the tragic Eastern skies fighting for your
Motherland in your very own Yak 1 fighter plane. See you in my
minds eye when...
You belong to the tragic Eastern skies fighting for your Motherland in your very own Yak 1 fighter plane. See you in my minds eye when you squint against the sun as g-forces hug you tight, knife edge turn above Russian steppe, flash of sun on your slender wings. In an airplane of wood, you not yet 22 years old flying and fighting.
Tell me, Russian girl, does a Yakovlev handle better than a Lavochkin La-5?
I am helplessly caught up in your story. Is it true you had white lilies in your cockpit? Did you glimpse them as you fell to earth, dying at twenty two? You, the White Rose of Stalingrad, fallen heroine, air ace in her airplane of wood, my airborne heroine. Finally laid to rest, a Hero of Russia, no known grave for forty years but under the wing of your fragile warplane.