Poems at Trial

Side Bar, March 10, 2008

Opening interruptus
Cloud static blocks the words but not the voices
The judge shakes her head
Back and forth the argument tumbles
While jurors annoy at the first of many pauses
Turning away
Both lawyers smiling
The vanquished as well as the victor
Opening continues
The point reinforced

An Opponent, March 17, 2008

Kelly green blouse shouts for attention
Competing with four-leaf clover broach
On standard black courtroom suit
Of short-skirted trim blond woman
Perched on too-high heels
Acting like she knows it all

Self Portrait, March 19, 2008

From a distance, his red tie falls in line with the expected uniform
But in close quarters one notices odd crossed balloons checked in blue parallelograms
A remnant of his father worn for good luck
Somehow defying the inevitable fraying its age invites

His on-line catalogue suit blends well into the off-blue hue of the star-spangled carpet
As he scribbles verse on a three-hole punched legal pad
He listens to the droning voices, pretending confidence
Head tilted just so

Head lifted occasionally to face the jury, a slight smile barely discerned
Chair swivels to check the monitor displaying incomprehensible numbers
Swivels back to read his verse once more and waits for something to happen

Joining the Fray, March 28, 2008

The lawyer grabs a handful of papers almost sprinting to the side bar
To assist his colleague thwarted in his questions
Repeat objections seek to hide the black and white of test data

Six voices lean to the desk mike wired to the court reporter’s earpiece
Leap one over the other to form a cacophony that cannot be transcribed

He bides

Then finally dives into a split second opening
And hands the judge a case that should unlock the truth

But Her Honor doesn’t read the case the same way
She smiles warmly, handing it back, and the trial resumes

by Bruce J. Berger

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