“Governor” is not so much a title or particular duty;
Like “courtesan” or “freebooter”,
It is just another word, in truth,
And, like many other words,
Open to any number of interpretations and shades of meaning.
Take, “love”, for instance—to me, it may refer
To a blessed state where a man and woman
Live in such a manner
That the word “I” becomes virtually meaningless,
Whereas to you it may be nothing more
Than a commodity to be bought and sold
At whatever rate vendor and buyer agree upon.
Likewise, “justice” may be understood as some high-flown notion
That any man is on a par with his fellow man,
And, as such, entitled to equal liberty and opportunity,
While someone else may see it as the meting out of punishment in accord with statute,
And still another man may see it
As a bitter, mocking term
Denoting how he that is poor, or holds to unpopular notions,
Is subject to tyranny of the tax collector and the club of the bailiff
While she who holds the scales of impartiality
Cannot, through the cloth that covers her eyes,
See the ungainly tilt of the scales, the weights in the pans
Having been surreptitiously moved about as in some street-corner shell game.
My friends, I assert that the word “governor” is no different;
For some, it is as a sword to be employed
In the service of great deeds and ideas,
For others, it is no more than the title
Given to one who is the boss among rogues,
And, as such, enjoined solely to divide the spoils in accord with custom,
While others still see it as a synonym for the ventriloquist’s dummy,
Mouthing such words which others see fit for being heard.
Myself? I see the term as a yoke
Fastened on some poor, insensate beast
Stuck in that limbo between the plow and the abattoir.
Whatever the case may be, I know it to be a term
Which my successor is more than welcome to appropriate.