Sept 11 – Carl Sandburg working the law, aiming for justice

Monday, September 11, 2017  “speaking in a soft voice,
speaking in a voice slightly colored with bitter wrongs
mingled with monumental patience”

This past week, while Attorney General Sessions announced the rescinding of the DACA window out of fear for c. 800,000 “Dreamers,” I thought of my family’s 9 lawyers, across 3 generations.  I am deeply proud of them;  not only do they practice the law without cheating (their clients or the law itself), they often use their skills to open paths to justice for vulnerable people.  Yes, they, and the rest of the family, love to argue and debate about large questions and crazy tiny ones.  Dinner tables pulse with conversational energy, only sometimes noble;  sometimes we rant and scold each other.  Sometimes we apologize, sometimes we don’t get that far in a dinner argument.  But, that said, . . . .

I have been schooled by my family’s habits to expect lawyers to use their skills to open paths to justice for vulnerable people.  And expect that pragmatic hope for wounded people requires what today’s poet, Carl Sandburg, describes as “monumental patience.”  These hard days got me searching in Garrison Keillor’s 2005 anthology (Good poems – for- Hard Times).  That’s where I found today’s poem.  I’m taking the liberty of dedicating this post to those nine lawyers with whom I have lived all of my life.  (n.b., Sanburg uses “him” for his lawyer; 4 of my 9 are women.)

Monday approaching mid-September.  Have a blest day.

john sj

Today’s Post  “Lawyer”  Carl Sanburg

When the jury files in to deliver a verdict after weeks of direct
and cross examinations, hot clashes of lawyers and cool
decisions of the judge,
There are points of high silence — twiddling of thumbs is at an
end — bailiffs near cuspidors take fresh chews of tobacco
and wait — and the clock has a chance for its ticking to
be heard.
A lawyer for the defense clears his throat and holds himself
ready if the word is “Guilty” to enter motion for a new
trial, speaking in a soft voice, speaking in a voice slightly
colored with bitter wrongs mingled with monumental
patience, speaking with mythic Atlas shoulders of many
preposterous, unjust circumstances.

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