poem | Tom Clark

A determination

For Justice Frank Vincent AO QC
and the Victoria University Council

It must now be near that time
of culmination: a subdued group
walks along the dolorous path,
a prison-aisle. They are going
away, the chaplain says, and praises
their civility as they quietly pass.

From behind every single cell door
like a volley of rifle, the song
that begins is a felon’s farewell:
‘Freedom is coming! Freedom is coming!
Freedom is coming – oh yes, I know!’
The ropes sway in promise of it.

And far away, all are aware,
the old judge sits in court, awaiting
news those lawyers crave and fear
– that it is done; that the time
in which they might have reprieved
is past – when their debate may adjourn.

© Tom Clark

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