Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Of Patriarchs and Plebs and Others Such

If a man denies that he spoke a word
and, on that day, at that hour,
there was no camera crew or microphone 
to assist in determining the truth;
and if there is only a bit of a notebook
that might, one day, be produced in evidence,
or might, on the other hand, be sadly mislaid
or burned to a crisp in a blaze;
and if there is only a chit of a girl
whose word can be called into question,
then the chances are the fuss will die down
and the business won't matter much at all.

But, if a man denies that he spoke another word
and he isn't a government minister;
let us say, for example, that he plays in defence
and falls foul of the blood-hungry press;
and if, say, the case is so far from being clear
that the lawyers and the experts are at loggerheads
then the chances are that such a man
will find himself both demonised and charged.

And it may well be that neither of these men
provide us with the noblest of examples;
and it may be, also, that some words cut so deep
that they will never lose their power to offend;
but the fact remains that, while one man is tried twice,
the other is most shamelessly protected:
where is the honour and the justice here
where plutocracy rules? OK?

© Abigail Wyatt

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Abigail is one of the three founding members of the Red River Poets. The latter will be appearing at the Heartlands Project in Cornwall, 29th September, as part of 100 Thousand Poets for Change.