Stanza 34


"I thanked him for his generosity
And only took your mayor's property
To show him the appropriate respect.
But I digress from what you must expect
I should address with you. Please take a seat
And have some coffee, too. The sugar's sweet,
And if you like, some cream will help the brew.
Now, gentlemen, what can I do for you?"
Confusion grips the five Iraqi men.
They do not comprehend the origin
From which the colonel's feelings emanate,
And as they silently deliberate
They're at a loss to know how to respond.
This is a situation far beyond
Their prior aggregate experience,
So several awkward minutes of suspense
Elapse before the sayyid makes this plea,
"We don't deserve the hospitality
That you have shown, but gladly we'll repay
Ten times as much upon another day."