In spite of the oft-repeated exhortation of an old friend,
you never do get used to disappointment.
It’s standing in a courtroom in your dreams
night after night,
the jury with unshining eyes
reading the same verdict again and again–
‘We don’t give a sh*t.’
And the prosecution went home long ago.
The defense pops yet another cork–
one could float away on the bubbles.
Or else drown in grief.
If you’re the family of the victim,
you know how you hang on every word
of the foreman, the judge.
When it all comes to cotton candy,
you know there’s jelly in the spine,
sweet on the surface,
sour to the swallow.
In the dawn the shadows scatter,
daylight smells fresh.
But like the cycle of the waxing-waning moon–
bright to black, bright to black–
the night brings back the close damp
of that wood-panelled room
with no God, no Truth, nothing but cold.
The same case, the same talk, the same waste.
And they shuffle out, they shuffle in.
All rise–the same ‘We don’t give a sh*t.’
The hope always lives, always dies,
daylight comes, then night–
hated hope springs up again,
only to be cut down and take your heart with it.
It’s a torment that promises to fade,
but it will be back tomorrow.