Depiction of Alexander Hamilton addressing three judges in courtroomTwo Courtroom Sonnets by Carl Kinsky The Society July 19, 2022 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 6 Comments . Self Defense When he pulled out his knife I thought I had No choice so I pulled out my gun and shot Him twice, then ran the streets for miles, too glad That he lay there dead and that I did not. I got discovery in jail and read The coroner’s report. It said his death Came slow. He bled out while I ran. Instead Of running miles I should’ve caught my breath And dialed 9-1-1 so he might’ve lived. The cops have found my fingerprints and gun. Would he have told the cops he flashed his shiv? I’ll never know, and now my trial’s begun. Can’t show remorse—my lawyer says it shouts My guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. . Note: “discovery” in line 5 refers to criminal discovery, whereby a defendant can obtain details of the prosecution’s case before the trial. . . His Last Case The old attorney’s case is called. He knows The fire in his belly’s nearly died, Though coals remain that may be coaxed to glow, The dwindling embers of a lawyer’s pride. He wonders why there’s always one last case. Is it how he maintains his self-respect, How he delays the day he’ll have to face A mirror bearing truths he can’t accept? The measure of a man is what he does. If he quits now, what then will he become? A shadow of the lawyer he once was, Enough pride’s left to see that duty’s done, The toughest duty of his life in law— “Your Honor, I move for leave to withdraw.” . . Carl Kinsky is a country lawyer living in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 6 Responses Thomas July 19, 2022 That Was Powerful, Both Acts Were Great. It Was The Best Thing To Being There. Take Care. Reply Carl Kinsky July 19, 2022 Thanks. I’m addicted to criminal jury trials. Reply Roy E. Peterson July 19, 2022 Carl, I feel the strong empathy in both poems, the first for the person on trial and the second for the feelings of an aging attorney who believes his withdrawal is in the best interests of the client leaving the legal matter to another attorney, because he no longer feels the burning energy to pursue the case for whatever reason. Nicely done. Reply Carl Kinsky July 19, 2022 Thanks for the kind remarks. Reply Cynthia Erlandson July 23, 2022 Two very poignant poems. Reply Carl Kinsky July 26, 2022 Thank you. They’re about people I’ve known. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.