Steven Croft

Firefight

Apache helo guns blister out green beads into a dark sky
through our night vision lenses, splitting the metal of cars
by this Iraqi police station taken by insurgents.
Exchange of fire lessens between our semi-automatics
and the IP station’s shot out windows. Radio crosstalk while
a room clearing team readies — time slows, then, “Go” —
they jog, weapons ready, one by one along the line
of blasted cars, until — frag grenade tossed in doorway
and they’re in. Time moves fast. More tap-tap shots.
Quick talk sitreps over the radio: “many enemy down”
“no casualties” — and soon, officers start on after action
reports as the scene of corpses is handed over to Iraqi soldiers.

And for us, the lowering dark of an Iraqi night falls back
into a long, usual rhythm of winding street patrols.

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