Detention Hearing by Toni Lorien

In the Matter of . . .

Behind his raised bench, the black-robed judge sits tall.
Attorneys and parents wait in their seats.
The little girl rocks in her chair, clutches her doll.

Her face still black and blue from the “fall.”
Purple and yellow bruises coat her right cheek.
Behind his raised bench, the black-robed judge sits tall.

Her mother pleads, “Please let me give her a call.”
“I haven’t spoken to my child for a week.”
The little girl rocks in her chair, clutches her doll.

Her father jumps to his feet. “She tripped at the mall!”
He slams his chained fists. “You are fucking freaks!”
Behind his raised bench, the black-robed judge sits tall.

He bangs his gavel, “This hearing is not a brawl!”
“Be. Quiet. I did not grant you permission to speak.”
The little girl rocks in her chair, clutches her doll.

She stares at her jail-clad parents led down the hall,
rubs her swollen, closed eye, lets the tears leak.
Behind his raised bench, the black-robed judge sits tall.
The little girl rocks in her chair, clutches her doll.

 

 

Toni Lorien is a Santa Barbara writer and poet, whose work has previously been published in the Community of Voices Anthologies and Sage Trail Poetry Magazine. Although Toni has resided in Santa Barbara for the requisite twenty-five years to be deemed a local, she will never be a native Santa Barbarbarian, which requires birth plus preferably five previous generations. Her poems reflect her native land of Minnesota, and her work as a government attorney representing social workers in cases involving abused and neglected children. Contact Toni at Tonilorien@me.com

About Jim Alexander

Jim Alexander wrote a humor column for nineteen years. His nonfiction has also been published in the Los Angeles Times and the Santa Barbara News-Press. His short story “Baby Grand” was published in Carpinteria Magazine. His short story “Rancho Zorra Dusk,” was performed at Speaking of Stories in Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theatre. His short story “Community Service” was recently published in The Whistling Fire. He co-wrote the script for the movie Blind Date Interactive. He won The Montecito Journal Award for Literary Fiction in 2014. He won The Arts Fund Individual Artist Award for General Fiction in 2010.
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