Sunday, 2 June 2013

Today I will be true or false*



I am standing before this court
Before a Magistrate, the arbiter in this case,
Behind me are parties in this case
To my left is my client:
A shy, horrified little girl
To my right:
The man who tore into her
Defiling her, sucking her vitality
Leaving her the pale shadow of her former self.

Today, I will be true or false.
I have prepared for this case, the charges are clear,
But to prosecute this case
I need evidence, I need to convince
This court beyond reasonable doubt
Any scintilla of doubt and this criminal is off the hook

Yesterday, I was with this small girl
God knows she has been through much!
At her age, she should be playing with her friends
Not attending courts!
At her age, she should be a child
Not this nightmare she is going through!

The playing field flashes through my mind
I hear children playing
And I see this girl running about too
Something constricts my throat

“Your Honour,” I address the court,
“Look at that child for a moment
Her innocence stolen forever
Her steady frame of mind destabilized forever
There she is in a morbid theatre…”

The Opposing Counsel objects:
“Objection, Your Honour, Counsel is
Pandering to emotions!”

I plough on:
“If I may, if there is something like pandering to
Emotions in this case, my client is there for the full glare
Of the world;
Pray, I need not colour my speech
The horror that my client went through
Is enough to speak of the indignity
Of the vile act, so odious…”

The Magistrate is not writing,
So I change tact
I see this will be one of the most difficult

Cases.


~
Purely fictional, although I am a Children Rights Advocate.
The title is borrowed from one of the speeches, I forget which, in the book "Profiles of Courage" by John. F. Kennedy that I read many years ago.

7 comments:

Brian Miller said...

dang...its got to be tough in those cases...hard not to let the emotions take over...and good on you for the work you do...i have counseled abused kids...not easy but def rewarding...

Emma Major said...

Wow that's an amazing write, I'm glad it's fictional but sad thatfor some it isn't

Lisa Williams said...

I can just imagine being in this position, I would not be able to hold my emotions at bay. You did a superb job in writing this vivid, heart wrenching piece.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Yay! So cool to see you in the pantry. So cool to hear you orating before the Court. I love the language in this poem and I just know you will be the best of defenders for the small and powerless.

thecheesewolf said...

a great piece - such a powerful voice sustained through the whole work. have read out loud, and is great to hear.

Margaret said...

...A lawyer with a heart. I knew they existed! I also really like your "about me". Preserve those echoes, tales, whispers!

kelvin s.m. said...

...this piece would make a rewarding declamatory piece.... i loved it.... very powerful without the need of emphasizing too much dialogue & the character of the abused were established really really well... smiles...

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