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I can’t think of anyone else still alive

who knew him, and could reminisce with me

about his special kindness, his panache —

(ice-white shirts, cufflinks which, looking back,

were just a trace too gleaming)

his well-known love of the stage

and his dramatic tours round the domain he cherished —

the Department of Dental Products.

I think of him with affection, even love.

He gave years of his life to sales graphs

and managerial meetings. He settled me

soothingly at my first typewriter

and when we sat next to each other

at the firm’s Christmas party, he said:

Don’t call me Sir, we’re off duty now,

and I think you need another mince pie.