No willed or ordained martyrdom awaits us.
Yet the end must seem the same, swift
with swords or stretched to common tedium:
laboured prize or relenting gift.
Only the silence sports a rarer idiom,
a canonical gloss that separates us.
You die as you live, in the bored channel
of your use, with neither royal favour,
nor fated fallout of its frown –
no subject for the engraver,
or hallowed mascot for a town.
Nor – least of all – a stained-glass panel.