The whole world watched with bated breath
as the whole world tottered on the brink of death
and not a single man would speak.
How long we’d last was anyone’s guess
but heavy and hard was our distress
as we watched and refused to speak.
Stubborn, we, to cling to the edge
when all was tumbling off the ledge
but too proud were we to speak.
We all watched to avoid the pit
but all ignored – none could admit –
for that would require one to speak.
And every man that thought, thought this:
“Why should I? Whose charge is this?”
but no thoughts were strong enough to speak.
I turned away, sole I, alone,
full of fear on my lonely throne
and saw that there was one to speak.
He stood apart, far the abyss,
back from the mass, his words a kiss
to all of us who still refused to speak.
Soft to him, to us a shout
his, the only, voice rang out.
He said, “I, the only – I can speak.”
I heard every word he shed,
and grand, when that was all he said,
was my relief when I didn’t have to speak.