A programme of contrails for Eastbourne,
held over, circled, then the low-flown
aircraft burst through the scuttled wisps of nimbus.
Above the beach of shingle – levelled by pop-up chairs,
and picnic squares, of towels and blankets
(for dads’ brief nap) –
the crowds watch, stiff-necked
by aircraft performing overhead,
deafened by the scream of a Eurofighter.
Mutterings in the afternoon bar
slightly sour the mood,
thick racism in those heat-slowed voices,
and they would rather have Spitfires,
than any recently banked, now gone,