Competent to Stand Trial / by Washington Square

Bombarded with visions of the man,
with his unkempt beard and filterless cigarette in hand,
smoke trailing straight up his sleeve,
another satisfied customer stretches his arms and gets up to leave.
The prison yard chiropractor puts on his origami hat.
He strides away quoting the Bible from front to back.
The King James Version word for word,
directed to waiting ears but never heard.
Into a dark room, vacant look in the eye,
muttering incoherent words from mumble to cry.
She hangs in his hand, gripped by the hair, eyes open in dread.
His wife. His life. His Love. He cut off her head.
How he was found guilty I cannot comprehend,
sentenced to prison for life, till he ends up dead.
With a straight face the state’s doctor said he knew what he did.
Though by all accounts they were in love and that’s how they lived.
Another tragic decline in his mental was seen by all.
A professor who started conversations with ghosts in the hall.
Somehow the state said he was competent to stand trial,
while drooling and mumbling, unfocused the whole while.
Said he was a genius and knew how to fake,
30 years later with origami hat and Bible he’s still faking first-rate.
A genius with some things but with no traces of hate,
A 60-year-old man with a paper hat for god’s sake.
The judge, the prosecutor and the doctors in his case
all incompetent or liars. I hope they pay dearly one day.
This wasn’t the only time and they do it straight faced.

by Jamie Laufenberg