Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jury Duty


We passed through voi dir,
my dear, were made peers
of a rococo realm, with its
perched presider and purchased
persuaders.  We nodded at passing
evidence, became a dozen guilty
buzzards asked to shadow
a creature offered on an altar
called The People.  We heard
arguments open and close
like shutters banging in the wind.

In a room, our opinions
accumulated like snow.  In that
drift was buried our decision,
which we seized.  The facts had
whispered to us, “He is guilty.”
We listened to them and repeated
what they said.  The defendant
bowed his head.  Shadows
of our doubt followed us outside,
where, greasy-winged, we joined
The People leading perfectly
legal lives.

--Hans Ostrom, copyright 2012

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