Leonard Dabydeen

Bronze Star - 2,101 Points (Guyana)

Court-Room Whisperers - Poem by Leonard Dabydeen

Silence is like a bamboo leaf
broken at the mid –rib
and I sat there in the pew
waiting with a blue paper-mate pen
and a wire-ribbed Hillroy note pad
and listening for the sound of evidence
and watching prosecutor and defendant
lawyers robed like carrion crows
and almost ready
to peck at the victim’s flesh
or massage the evidence
like a masseuse at therapy
then a voice fills the courtroom:
“All rise.”
and I follow like monkey see
what monkey must do
and watch the black-robed judge
come burrowing to his desk
then voices
begin to filter in the air
West Indian voices
Italian voices
Romanian voices
Polish voices
Canadian voices
and voices from Kolkata and Gujrat
and Portugal and Russia
and Sri-Lanka
and I listen intently
like a court-room inter-com
still trying to decipher
the melting-pot of languages
and eyes rivet on the judge
as if he is now the pot-salt
who will validate the brew
in crime and punishment
and satisfy
my court-room whisperers.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, August 29, 2010

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