The bang of a gavel brings
everyone to attention...
as the man in black enters unceremoniously,
walks directly to the raised oak dias
at the front of the courtroom, sits down...
and the inevitable rituals of this judicial
proceeding begin. Suit-and-tie witnesses
approach the stand on queue
from the rear, are quickly sworn in
and respectfully questioned. They tell
stories of Latin-named medicines long
prescribed, behavior modification goals
sought and missed (lapses duly recorded),
child-raising mistakes admitted, as well as
observations of his sister, the one who is
a family practice physician...
while the judge, at the front and above it all,
watches intently and, despite his unruly hair,
rules quickly on all objections.
So it plays out smoothly, as if a staged
drama or well-rehersed theatre...
where the only audience of record is
the deliberative gray-haired judge...
but sometimes the lawyers parry, and
in their closing statements tarry, retracing
their side's most favorable points...
which the judge slowly repeats
in his closing remarks, especially those
that most impressed him. Then His Honor
abruptly gives out the sentence and
quickly walks from that rooom...
as the baliff leads our son,
without even a goodbye,
by a side door,
first published in The Rockford Review
also published in BEHIND PRISON WALLS Chapbook
©2010 Bonnie Manion