The week before, he’d played a valiant role
upon the stage, to deafening applause,
hoisting the flag up the bloodied pole,
inspiring men of culture to the cause.
He died upon the roof of City Hall,
raising that same flag, some later said,
a cracking yarn that bore no truth at all,
save for the fact a sniper shot him dead.
He fluffed his lines upon the greatest stage,
not stooping as he crossed the parapet,
a death most unbecoming of the age,
disrespectful of the bullet’s threat.
He raised no flag. That cannot be denied.
Yet in a deeper way, that’s how he died.