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that time I had jury duty

He was young
a bushy beard and an indictment—
burglary, guns,
a home with small children.

We were called there—
the day flowed by in
voir dire, to speak the truth.
Truth was, the lawyers asked
all the older women—children?
grandchildren? How many? How old?
We were excused,
the mothers,
the grandmothers.

We were instructed not to speak of it at home,
not to read the news but I wasn’t chosen
so feel free to share my conclusion.
His pale blue dress shirt showed
its straight-from-the-package newness
in the sharp creases
down his long arms, across his back.
After the whole day spent together
in that small room with his not ironed shirt
I do not believe
he was in possession
of a mother or a grandmother.

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