A trite title for what (I think) is quite an elegantly thought through poem.


Law is Not Justice

Law may be the crutch with which
we prevent ourselves from staggering
in the uneven search for justice
And yet we are so like benign drunks,
stepped over cautiously, unaware
in our need for peaceful sleep,
that law is not justice

No more than peace is the absence of war
or bread alone makes a banquet
I find, as you find, inequalities in the pages
of my daily paper, momentary unease
a sense of helplessness, frustration
Yet laws are given of men
and justice must be taken

Paraphrasing Anatole France
the majestic equality of the law
forbids the rich as well as the poor
to sleep under bridges,
to beg in the streets
and to steal bread
And where I ask is justice in that?

If law is the opposite of anarchy,
then what opposes justice
but the need in all of us to stand
apart, somehow above our fellow man
Rich will drive and poor be driven,
one to home and one to jail
The bread of law calling itself a banquet

So arbitrate, interpret, determine and decide
the work of juries and the judges,
who are called justices as well,
without the slightest trace of irony
Speed laws may not make of us skilled drivers
yet with dedication, hours behind the wheel
we may yet navigate a route to justice

Poetry Collection: Broken Pieces
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman’s
poetry collection
BROKEN PIECES
available here in print
or as an e-Book
in your favorite formats.