Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Your Honour…

[Image courtesy of google:] 

Your Honour, my client died long ago
What you see is her apparition, to avenge her death
Look at her: the stooped shoulders, the shadowed eyes
Look at her parched lips
Look at her wafer-thin frame

If it pleases the court, my client is a roving spirit
In this Hall of Justice, merged with my spirit
To give a voice to many other silenced ones
This is a representative suit, there are a legion of us

Your Honour, my good learned friend
Told the court that this suit is frivolous and
A waste of court’s time
My learned friend told this Honourable Court
That my client does not come with clean hands
That my client has no locus standi

I disagree: This suit is in good faith
My client would have better herd goats
Somewhere behind the hills of Kacheliba
With the sorrow of a son killed by a stray police bullet
Than to have come here to “waste court’s time”

My client’s son lies unburied
Probably with a bullet lodged in his skull
Out there in the cold, may be in a decomposing in a pit
He finished Form Four last year
When results came, he had straight A’s
He always spoke of a more just society
Wanted to ignite the world with a little more cheer

With due respect, then, Your Honour
Where is veracity in saying that my client
“does not come with clean hands”?
She has no hands in the first place
What with the amputation of a killed son
The imagery of a hand is like
A joke about death among condemned men

I agree: my client has no “locus standi”
More as her son without a decent burial
She has no merit, right?
Wrong. Inside her breast is a grieving heart
Smoldering in a raging fire of anguish
For a little more justice
For a little more semblance of fairness

For three years, she has been here
For her son
For three years, she has sat in this Honourable Court
Pained by delay, all the time gracious
For justice—whether for good or ill

This is the moment, your Honour,
When this court should dispense justice
To right wrong, to do the unprecedented
To set the record straight, to send a clear message.

C) Lorot Salem 2011


Sherry Blue Sky said...

So powerful, Salem, a mother's grief and search for justice - I love the way you tell all these stories of justice/injustice. The world needs to wake up and hear them and, more than that, demand they be acted upon. Keep writing, Salem. Keep being their voice. You do that so well.

Promising Poets Parking Lot said...

bless the dog...

well done work.

Salem Lorot said...

@ Koko Sherry, thank for your kind comments. Actually, this poem was inspired by a story I read in the newspaper where a father lost a son ( a brilliant young man) in some suspicious curcumstances of a calculated accident. I went the extra mile, threw in a woman in the spanner-works and a police bullet and voila, a poem came out!

@ Promising Poets Parking Lot, thank you. Much humbled.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Fantastic poem - and a terrific appeal for justice. Came back for another read!

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