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Jury Duty

A building of long halls and wooden benches
Filled with men with guns and briefcases
Checkpoints for contraband inspection
Waiting rooms of prospects in rows of chairs

A pep talk. Quiet time for listening to names
Groups selected to go up, out, or across the street
More “free-time” to wander about in limbo
After lunch being called up and into another building

More sitting and waiting to be called alphabetically
Then a random selection of first picks to sit in 14 chairs
A lengthy introduction to get us psyched up for service
Then the show and tell portion of the protocol

Sent out to the hall like in elementary school for talking
Waiting for the next move by superiors
Called back en masse to hear who’s out and who’s next
More “I’ve got a secret” revelations and rejections

Finally, if the response is acceptable, one is chosen
If the response is unacceptable, the words one hears
Lead to the doors of freedom. They are either:
“You are excused” or “You are dismissed”, mine the latter

------
Stephanie Millican


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