The View from the Dock

Since I didn’t want to make light of a real trial, here’s an imagined courtroom sketch from Julia Quenzler for The Archers.

The View from the Dock

They’ll haul me in the dock, one day,
To face down my accusers,
And place my fate within the hands
Of twelve good folk and true.
I’ll shiver in the dock, one day,
The haunt of knaves and bruisers:
Where many made their final stands
Before the kangaroo.

But wait,
It’s not the judge
Whom I should fear,
Nor bailiffs,
Though they drag me here,
Nor barristers,
Intent to smear my name.
No, my innocence or shame
Is solely in the verdict of my peers:

This dozen-crowd,
As proud as me,
And stupid, sometimes,
And bloody-minded,
And feather-bedded.
Cunning folk,
And worldly-wise,
From bigwig sharks
To little guys:
Folk I know
Down to the letter –
Folk like me,
For worse and better.

And how will they view me, these folk ?
As one of them ?  An av’rage bloke ?
As someone who could someday be themselves ?
So send me down or set me free,
But you, m’lud, can’t humble me !
For justice, guilt and mercy comes in Twelves.

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