The ecology of justice

The ecology of justice

These magpies
           with their plump
white bellies
           rule the air

scattered on high branches
           they gather in groups
and sit in judgment
           upon us

I remember the white walls
           the cold damp bedrooms
the peeling eggshell distemper
           a pale sky that stretched
beyond the horizon
           and magpies sitting
on the tall trees
           at the rear of the garden
or swooping down
           onto the lawn

they sat in judgment then
           and sit in judgment now
they find us guilty
           guilty as charged

John Lyons

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