Monday, October 5, 2009

Repertory Justice

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.

Pin-striped costumes
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
reversible error.

Clerk's note:
Place back on the docket
for rotation.


"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 CornerWYSO 91.3 FM as part of his local poets project.


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