Spy’s Consolation

by flammeusgladius

The Spy’s Consolation

(for Aaron Campbell)

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son….”

We have to spy when tyrants spy on us.
You understood this, Aaron, best of all.
What John and I, with just a joke and cuss,
Did fighting, you did spying.  When the call
Comes from the conscience, ah, the voice is small—
But manages to fill a man’s whole mind.
That voice reechoes through the inner hall—
And duty stands insistently assigned.
All of us paid a price – and none were blind
To payment.  In your case, the Jabberwock
Was a risk in the darkness, ill-defined—
A risk indeed, but nothing like a shock.
Still, he, so arrogant, was shocked the day
That little Alice, righteous, made him pay.

–Tom Riley