Smith vs. the State again
today on the marquee docket,
another decade-old case.
Drab oak, maple
or walnut panels upstage the light, honored
with traditional props—
the books, the bailiff, the brunette
typing transcripts, and the yawning
from the jury.
A dark robe clings to the bony,
bifocal-ing, caffeine-driven director,
stayed by impromptu lines,
tortious logic ad nauseum, reaching for gavel
at the close of applause—
another bifurcated encore.
in a choreographed side bar, plead, motion,
beckon for prompted verdict.
"Your honor, are these the legs of a murderess?"
Yet another gallery gasp, in unison.
Flash! Camera flashes.
Held over, mistrial, no
Place back on the docket
"Repertory Justice" was originally published in the Fall 2009 issue (Vol. 4/3) of Wilderness House Literary Review.
Here's a direct link to the poem (in .pdf):
On December 20, 2012, "Repertory Justice" was read by Conrad Balliet on Conrad's Corner, WYSO 91.3 FM as part of his local poets project.