Spring 2018

Leaders

 Though so different, you would have understood one another:

he, smoothly spoken, and you with your coffee-grinder voice. 

After looking in the eyes of those who slaved and starved,

and seeing villagers hunted down,

he took their cause, came late to arms,

and led his troop though Morazan, 

ate beans with them and slept rough.

He asked much of them, expected little,

knowing their weakness and his own.

 

He was as smooth as you were rough,

but like him, you too knew what mattered,

knew who mattered:

the likely lads in Richmond to whom you gave respect,

the battling mothers whose kids you helped to feed,

the good men lost whose eyes you opened.

Good news, bad news you met with your wattlebird laugh

that said you’d seen it all

and would never cease to give.

 

Andrew Hamilton SJ

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