I am the unnoticed, the unnoticeable man;
The man who sat on your right in the morning train
The man who looked through like a windowpane
The man who was the colour of the carriage, the colour of the mounting
morning pipe smoke.
I am the man too busy with a living to live
Too hurried and worried to see and smell and touch
The man who is patient too long and obeys too much
And wishes too softly and seldom.
I am the man they call the nation’s backbone,
Who am boneless – playable catgut, pliable clay
The Man they label Little, lest one day
I dare to grow.
I am the rails on which the moment passes,
The megaphone for many words and voices
I am the graph diagram,
I am the led, the easily-fed,
The tool, the not-quite-fool,
The uncomplaining, bound,
The dust fine-ground,
Stone-for-a-statue, wave worn pebble-round