A Day At The Courthouse
by Robert Wood

Beauty doesn’t dwell in the courthouse
and her soul-mate, harmony never comes around.
Even justice, for whom this place was built
often cowers in the basement
ignoring the machinations above
appearing only sporadically,
and incidentally.

What permeates these juridical walls is pain.
What squats on haunches in quiet chambers
is imbalance, disappointment, delay
seasoned by safety, freedom, closure.

The walls sometimes echo with oratory thunder.
It is power to outflank power,
foes not always equal in size and strength.

But the fate of the pure and the damned alike
is in the keeping of twelve ordinary citizens
whose primary qualification is that they
have registered to vote or hold a driver’s license;
and couldn’t come up with a good excuse
to be somewhere else that day.

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