Jerry Herald had been
the president of the company,
but when our paths crossed his title was
Vice President of Internal Corporate Communications
and Blah Blah etc. etc.
None of us knew exactly what Jerry Herald
did all day, although he did seem to do
a lot of it.
He was always in the building,
looking dapper in a three-piece
of a kind that no one else wore
even in the 1990s.
Rumor had it
that Jerry Herald once served in the CIA,
and that if you asked him about it,
he would glare severely and reply
“That is not a history I can discuss.”
It was difficult to imagine Jerry Herald
on missions behind enemy lines
dueling with counterparts
but dangerous women.
Much easier was picturing him
as the boss behind the desk
in an enormous office,
and then lecturing the spies,
in a serious and officious manner,
on the proper procedures that
they ought to be following.
I remember a company banquet,
at which Jerry Herald spoke at length
on a subject of interest to no one
but we all applauded warmly.
Later I ducked into the men’s room
but left quickly
From one of the stalls wafted a horrible stench,
the odor of bowels and bacteria,
accompanied by the groans and moans
of the body’s owner,
rotting on the inside.
I did not mean to peer inside the gap,
but I did anyway.
There he was, Jerry Herald,
his message revealed to the world,
or at least to me.
Save your money,
take care of your health,
and get out of the game
when your time is over.