Saturday, 11 December 2010

Your Honour, I plead guilty!

Your Honour, I plead guilty, if you so wish
For you glare at me in your horn-rimmed glasses
Dressed in red to welcome scums to halls of justice
Nose twisted heavenwards as if to ward off the stench of my crime.

I plead guilty, Your Honour
For you are impatient with me
You insist in ‘Guilty’ or ‘Not Guilty’
Blind to my ‘let me explain’
Eager to send me to oblivion.

I wanted to explain to you this thing slowly
The way men do
But you insist in barking at me
How will you know how it all started?
Is this the way people handle issues?

Your Honour, I am the wronged man here
I should be the object of your mercy
I can’t afford the price of a lawyer’s tongue
Every time I want to talk my way, you block my path
How can truth be found, Your Honour?
That is why I will say I am guilty.
But if we were in the village
I would call everyone and pass through the thighs of old men
And if I lie I die

If I were in the village
I would drink from a calabash to declare my innocence
I would stand facing sunrise and say,
“Kinsmen, if I stole from Lokwarasia
then as the sun rises this morning, let me die with it in the evening”
And if I lie I die

But here I will plead guilty.

C) Lorot Salem 2010


beeillustrated said...

I like this poem. It shows a great contrast between our modern life and the traditional one.

Although we claim that our Court system is modern, it is still filled with a lot of loop holes that eventually lead to the wrong judgment. The tradition may have been ignored but sometimes i tend to think it has a way of enticing the truth out of people!

Good work

Salem Lorot said...

Thanks Beeillustrated.
You are right about the discrepancy in the judiciary. I also think our court processes are beyond the comprehension of consumers of justice.

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