“Jury Selection,” a poem ..


Hushed anxiety murmurs in trembling chorus/ The stunned assemblage of potential jurors/ Fearful lest their lives be arrested for three months

The clattering of lawyer notebooks closed, turned over, opened once again to ruminate/ Studying the consultant’s quaint codes of bias or benevolence/ A phalanx of minds trained to parse the law but/ Pitifully vacant in knowing the other met in the vast wood-paneled arena

Nervous pens click as the pleasant judge hears pleas of hardship/ Stunned men and women told to resume their seats, pleas turned down/ Privilege of citizenship, solemn duty, and/ Fourteen lives finally bent around in grotesque poses of adjustment

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About brucejberger

Bruce J. Berger has published his short fiction in a variety of print and on-line literary journals, including Prole, Jersey Devil Press Anthology, The Awakenings Review, Raphael's Village, Eastown Fiction, Black Magnolias Literary Journal, and others. He also publishes shorts stories for Amazon's Kindle. He is pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at American University beginning in August 2015.
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One Response to “Jury Selection,” a poem ..

  1. Jenny Brody says:

    I love this poem, it captures the tension and anxiety in a courtroom during a seemingly mundane moment, and the way people’s lives can be changed irrevocably by a single word from a judge. Family law cases are all bench trials, so I don’t work w/ juries, but the poem speaks to the way I sometimes feel in court, as I click my pen in the fraught silence, waiting for a decision that will alter the life of a child forever.

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