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)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s