He put his fingers to his forehead
Like someone lost in thought,
Or like someone who will soon
Have to talk in front of a large crowd.
The person next to him tapped his spoon
Against a glass, but he didn’t hear.
When the others stood up, he stood up.
One by one they left the room, to loud cheers.
He followed, but stayed far behind.
He did not know what was happening.
He needed a moment alone, to find
His bearings, but he felt dragged along
With the others. He smiled in answer
To a question. Somewhere a gong
Sounded. It was almost painful.
When he tried to speak, his voice broke,
As if he had something shameful
To hide, and now he’d been caught.