Final Argument

by Teresa Burleson

The gavel falls.
There is no question
About the verdict.
There is no question
About what I deserve,
Except my only Defense
Arrives just in time.
One glimpse
Of that nail-scarred wrist
Leaves the prosecutor
Without a word.
The charges are dropped.
The penalty is paid.
And though I am
Guilty as can be,
The Judge Himself
Finds me faultless.

A free-lancer for over 40 years, Teresa Burleson has credits in over 45 magazines. In 2002, she received the National League of American Pen Women Virginia Liebeler Biennial Grant for Mature Women in the letters category. She is the author of The Pilgrim’s Lyre, published in 2003 and Rose Without Thorns, published in 2013.

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