Thursday, June 2, 2011


Will the witness genuflect

To the good people of Madisonville?

Indeed, the witness will indulge

The easiest gesture of those hours –

To audit such concerns with grand patience

And assure those problems will improve,

Like a child’s boo-boo.

The witness will do this a few times.

The witness, while in gesture,

Will hear the startled applause of cameras

That, in this century, still clap their shutters,

Which snap to attention

At raised hands, or props. Especially props.

To make it feel like you were there.

The witness, there,

Will answer through such clatter, unheard.

Men and women from cable will sit,

Distant, faces turned to the star of the witness,

And move their jowls

In ways strikingly lifelike.

They will slouch and rise and

They will whisper when not talking.

In the gallery, unmoored eyes

Will wander upon fixtures

That rise high in art deco swoops,

Contrasting in complement to Corinthian capitals,

Gilded, new but showing age,

Held gracelessly, in cells in a box.

In that one cell, the witness will press on,

In soft slog and sharp parry.

The witness knows rancor

Will release in decorous bursts,

And had caused laughs among vassals

With the erupting language of right riposte.

The witness, though, will say things

The witness, in prudence, must say.

Those things are small.

When great things are said, they are said

In grand chambers studded with fasces, or below

Corinthian capitals standing sentry above grand fields.

Everyone will know the witness’ predicament

To exist in reference to these great things.

Then, later, after everybody leaves,

They will always go back to democracy.

-Anonymous Aide

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