Stanza 162


The fifteen minutes seemed to last for hours.
The stress of danger limited their powers,
Especially with ammo running low.
When Spade's announcement on the radio
Came through at last, the crew's anxiety
Evaporated. "Romeo, please be
Advised that all of you should stay inside
The phrog. My gunners are about to guide
Two zero mike mike all around your bird.
As soon as you are ready give the word."
In answer Romeo replied, "Spade you
May set your weapons free. All of my crew
Are in the phrog, so fire at will. Repeat,
Set weapons free." Along the narrow street
The villagers fall as the cannon fire
Mowed down insurgents. Those who live retire
Through clouds of blinding dust in great dismay,
But as they flee in terror from the fray
The shells pursued the men who in their fright
Run helter skelter in a panicked flight.