Stanza 179


But Ibrahim responds, "Perhaps we must.
Though speed is risky, caution might be just
As dangerous. The water from the base
Has slowly ebbed. Unless we can replace
This source of sustenance, the tanks that store
The water will run out in twenty-four
More hours. We have to ration the supply
To make it last that long. When they go dry
We will not have a choice, so why don't we
Explore the base? The possibility
Of finding water outweighs any fear
That the Americans might reappear."
The engineer's convincing argument
Results in the unanimous consent
Of all the people. Soon they reach the gate,
And since they pass unchallenged, circulate
Around the compound. Everywhere they turn,
They find no enemies and their concern
For ambushes and booby traps subsides.
However, fear of thirstiness abides.