Jury Selection Haiku

I was called for jury duty in my county’s Supreme Court. Like most people, I saw this as an annoyance, an imposition and interruption of my own affairs, a selfish but justifiable sentiment. I forgot to bring a novel to fill the boring empty hours of selection, so I wrote some haiku.

jury duty call
a case of mental hygiene
clean, i am biased

no, i’m impartial
where my own bias occurs
cut from colored cloth

i feel dutiful
responsible, capable
also recluctant

marble leather stone
eagles brass rosettes bunting
words: in god we trust

if i am asked to
swear, “so help me god,” will i
be telling the truth?

so much waiting time
should have brought a book to read
crime and punishment?

church pews in the court
i guess justice is just like that

what is he thinking
the accused sex offender
sports scores? what’s for lunch?

waiting for the judge
a juror parts her long hair
weaves a skinny braid

the court attendant
relaxes, along with us
reading the paper

all rise – we all rise
be seated – everyone sits
here come the judgement

some are duly sworn
i am not among them, i
am unselected

why disappointed?
partiality revealed
sets me free, or not

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