Stanza 177


The villagers collapse, and stoically
Accept the disappearance of the enemy
As just one more exaggerated ruse.
Though hours go by, the people do not choose
To trust that this relief is permanent.
Their foes were absent, but the violent
Americans were certain to return.
The sun goes down in peace, but the concern
Of all the people grows throughout the night.
Anxiety increases when the light
Of dawn and the muezzin's inviting call
Awakens all the town. The gloomy pall
Is more unbearable because they know
That peace disguises an impending blow.
They pray to God who is their only hope,
Then scan the base in hopes a rifle scope
Can magnify the shrouded evidence
And give the militants intelligence
That they can use. But they can't find a trace
Of the Americans within the base.