A Verdict Of Guilt - Poem by RIC BASTASA

I like to be stern today
So that you may believe me
That I am serious
About the law and that
I mean it when I punish you

I look at you
As you stand before me
Uncombed hair
The dirt of poverty
All over your body
Unwashed clothes
The odor of your crime
Permeating the room

You look like a
Tattered poem to me
I want to write
Something beautiful
About you

I could have followed
The creative path
Of compassion and
Shy away from form
And reason

Yet society is looking
With anger and thirsting
For revenge
Which they call justice
I hand the verdict
Of conviction

Another body another
Soul shall suffer because
The path is rigid
And too smooth for our
Own creative imagination.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, June 29, 2008

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