When The Judge Said

When the judge said,
“Will the defendant please rise,”
this morning, for some reason
I thought of bread.

But here in criminal court
there aren’t too many sweet rolls,
just tougher loaves
ready for baking in ovens like
correctional facilities
at Redgranite or Waupun.

Gray stones, iron gates, steels bars
make strange stoves
whose doors, when they clang shut,
make you understand why
they call these sorts of ovens

They bake unevenly and leave
hard crusts on burned, dry loaves –
sent back to the city still hot
and very hard to digest.

David Clowers began to write poetry ten years ago with the help of an Internet poets’ group, and he now is a member of the Unabridged group in Egg Harbor. His poems have been published in the 2009 and 2010 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendars, Knock, Fox Cry and The Peninsula Pulse.