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.