JURY DUTY

Sixty years too late
    I slump over
ancient oak furniture,
pebble-smoothed by generations of
       sweating palms,
in dingy, white-bricked basement,
jury holding area,
Dedham Court,  High St.,  1987.

Dressed in tie and jacket disguise,
      I stare through barred windows,
          listen for your footsteps overhead.

Oh,  Nick and Bart, I would save you!
      Speeding down Rt. 1,
 past Dedham Mall,
 past Toys R Us,
 past Levitz forever furniture sale,

hairpin turn into parking lot,
vault through Toyota window,
       bolt into courthouse,
 wait my turn, barely,
pacing fighter, straining
   for bell, for intercom, for chalk-screech
voice of court officer, or
    menacing, painted, pointing fingernail.

Up the stairs I fly!
Throw open the doors of injustice!
Demand instant impanelment of myself!
 (Or would I be chosen by chance:  dungarees, beard
            unnoticed?)

And then, then, oh wonderful then:
Lone hold-out!
Hung jury!
Beatific smile!  
as Judge Thayer sputters,
                                              foams--
                                                                   helpless,
          eyes bullseyes
                                         of rage.



*  *    *

On green peeling wall,
      only xerox clipping remembers:

"60 YEARS AGO--SACCO AND VANZETTI--NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE"
                               (8/24/87)

*  *   *

It would have been so easy:
        I would have done it for you,
                                     happily,
    right upstairs,

                      where they only took your lives,

but too many red lights,
      too much history in the way.



   
   

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
Contact Bill Schechter
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