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I'm certainly not the best in the room
but I do what I can and results are good.
I'm never around for too long in the end,
wouldn't stop for a minute to breathe, if I could.

My color is silver, my place to the left.
Rulers call me their vice, I'm who they rely on.
I'm fleeting and small, hard to track, quick to leave:
If you count to ten I am already gone.

Who is speaking here?

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    $\begingroup$ I wrote this yesterday night instead of going to bed. Can you solve it? $\endgroup$
    – Lyra
    Nov 27, 2022 at 15:16

1 Answer 1

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I think that you are:

SECOND

I'm certainly not the best in the room
but I do what I can and results are good.

If you come in second you are only second best (not the best) - but in a wide field of entrants coming second is still a good outcome.

I'm never around for too long in the end,
wouldn't stop for a minute to breathe, if I could.

A 'second' is a very short period of time, and certainly much shorter than a minute.

My color is silver, my place to the left.

Second place in many sporting events is rewarded with a silver medal. On the winner's podium the silver medallist traditionally stands to the left of the winner (as seen face-on by a spectator).

Rulers call me their vice, I'm who they rely on.

'Second-in-command' is another word for 'vice', as in 'vice-President' - the person closest to the leader and working to support them in their objectives.

I'm fleeting and small, hard to track, quick to leave:
If you count to ten I am already gone.

As in the second (!) rhyming couplet, a second is a small unit of time which passes quickly. Very few people can count out loud to ten without a second elapsing!

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  • $\begingroup$ Perfect! Thank you for solving it! $\endgroup$
    – Lyra
    Nov 28, 2022 at 19:50

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