Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Trouble with Justice

The Trouble with Justice
(after Billy Collins)

The trouble with justice, I realized
as I watched autumn rain darken the sidewalk –
cool October breezes across my cheek
blanket of grey clouds in the sky –

The trouble with justice is
there is no justice, only smaller injustices,
no system to completely smooth the unfairness of things
which leads to battles with demons like Raktabija, so powerful
his wounds spill blood gushing a torrent of clones.

How will it ever end? How can it ever end?
We are all guilty of something.
Unless the day finally arrives
that quenches our desire for revenge
and exterminates the white ire
of religiously-inspired enthusiasts,

and there is nothing left to do
but to wallow silently
in the sins of our own indiscretion.

Justice is what eludes me
as, voiceless, I watch through the window
unable to keep truth from slinking out of the room.

Mostly, Justice makes me long for forgiveness
and I patiently wait for the Lady herself
to putdown the scales and throw off the blindfold.

And along with that, to do away
with the Old Testament aphorisms
“An eye for an eye”

What a sorry group of creatures we are
demanding equity in all crimes
while awaiting karmic justice to befall
all that have wronged us,
I think as rain washes our daily dust
into storm drains beyond our sight
and it brings to mind the saying–
An eye for an eye makes everyone blind –
(which I stole from a bumper sticker
I once saw on a fall drive through the mountains)

instead of remembering to forgive seventy times seven,
spoken by one whose blood ran over the dark battlefield,
aware of the smallness of human justice,
but awaiting us with open arms.

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