She stood at the fringe of the gathering, hands in coat pockets, neck wrapped in scarf. Puffs of smoke rather than words. A cold dull day; she ached all over.

She didn’t have to come – a train and two subway rides – to a strange place. Unfamiliar bred anxiety, and she shrunk herself smaller. The pla-dump of her heart made her all shaky inside.

She scuffled her feet; the crowd grew larger. The snow spittle sky absorbed all the colour and noise; fifty thousand shades of grey.

She wondered at other’s motives for being there. The media, the gawkers. Supporters and detractors fighting for space and voice.

A roar rippled, rumbled through the groupings. Then he was out the door, flanked by family and attorney. Released.

Tears, fat from years of not falling, rolled down her cheeks. Released. She was on the jury that found him guilty.

Throughout the trial, she had her doubts. Things fit too neatly or not at all. But she voted with the others after weeks of wrangling and argumentation.

She never felt right. She felt caged by her decision. Imprisoned. What right did she have to determine another’s fate.

So she waited. Never dared ask for forgiveness. Carried her guilt and his innocence. Her back bent, shoulders stooped from the weight.

Years robbed carved on his face. Thanking those who believed him; worked to free him. Released. He forgave those who wronged him.

She was released.


Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Friday Music Prompt #64: “I shall be released.”

PS: Bob Dylan has just been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature – the first musician to do so. But strip away the music, and you have poetry.


@ my frilly Freudian slip, 2016