The Juror

Guilty or Not Guilty? I’m trying to decide.

And the only thing that’s certain is that somebody has died.


‘Of course he must have done it’, the younger jurors say.

To them the world is black and white; us elders think in grey.


Days and days of detail, hours and hours of doubt.

Concentrating fervently on what it’s all about.


Was there an intruder? What about the knife?

Should a single fingerprint condemn a man for life?


The Prosecutor’s boring us, the Judge looks half asleep.

It all seems quite mundane until a witness starts to weep.


We break, we chat, we wonder; nothing’s proven, nothing’s clear.

Is this what really happened, or is it nowhere near?


The Barristers are polished; theatrical, at ease.

They play with words, they play with lives; they take their massive fees.


They’re talking about motives; I’m thinking about theirs.

They want to win another case; but as for truth – who cares?


The Defendant shakes his head as he’s been doing all along.

I’m terrified to look at him, so scared we’ll get it wrong.


So scared I’ll hear in twenty years, when he’s gone mad in jail,

That someone else has now confessed, has told a different tale.


I’ll do my civic duty, struggle with the rules of law.

But Innocent or Guilty? I’ll never know for sure.


(April 2000)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s