Stanza 67


The leader of the first platoon replied,
"Then kill him to prevent his suicide."
The sergeant next unsafed his M-16
And snugged it to his shoulder. The marine
Inhaled a breath, and exhaled just a bit.
He held the rest, for he would not permit
The motion of his lungs to misalign
The sights and target, which would undermine
His deadly aim against the terrorist.
His finger squeezed the trigger and dismissed
The bullet from the chamber where it lay,
And as the round collided with its prey
The shot was heard throughout the marketplace.
The young lieutenant saw the empty case
Ejected from the chamber to the ground
And heard it rattle as all other sound
Had vanished with the rifle's loud report.
He watched the body of the boy contort
As from his broken head the vital blood
Exploded outward in a gushing flood.