The Secretary

He sat impassive, unmoving

As we processed to the parchment

Of signatures

Gladly accepting a General's challenge.


He opened not his mouth,

Silent and unsaying

The multitude of words

Recorded in the minutes of a life-time.


Why is his signature not there,

Alongside ours?

Yet the stamp of his life pervades

My own commitment.


And his quiet words

Encouraged when thanklessness

Seemed the only message

From another silence.


Yet he sits humbly, giving his heart

Taking his part

In unnoticed surrender,

Mirror of another servant.


New Jersey

May 2004


To Laurence Hay