Jury Duty

Navigating the parking lot
along with the others
who’d received notice,

I took the knife
out of my bag meant
to slice an apple as

metal detectors would
surely find the dull’d
blade to be a menace.

My bag was stuffed for
a day of nothing to do:
pencils, novel, more papers-

Dumbfounded at what
they would do during
the artificial incarceration,

no one else seemed to be
lugging their possessions
through the revolving door.

Assembled in the din
and silent roar of government,
I busied myself

as the television broadcasted
the Price is Right, contributing
to the Orwellian ambiance.

People circled the perimeters
looking for an outlet
to plug in IPhone, IPod, brain.

No one spoke, nor smiled,
nor made any attempts to
to be human.

The women with the cane
broke the quiet as she
navigated a place to sit.

Great fuss was made
to settle, unwrap, situate
before letting out a string of belch.

And before you know it,
we were cattle to the courtroom
ordered for our duty as citizens.

The perpetrator sat huddled
in his layers and contrition
certain to be found lacking judgement.

The judge stuttered through
rules and regulations citing the
crime of pushing his woman down.

I could visualize him  
drunk on a Friday night,
Tejano music moving his feet

when rising out of
typical domestic expectation,
she screamed, asshole.

He shoved her down.
How does one jury that?
lock him up? charge him a fee?

We were sent to lunch.

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