The Friday Poem: John Adams on retiring as a judge today

 

Docking out

Diminished judgment, rumpled, short concentration:

all I could find was my powers

ebbing when I woke up this morning.

Too much time in the dark room; the strain

almost too taut

to spin a memorandum of consent

into order, even with the miller’s daughter

looking on. I can scarce muster

the puff to adjourn the court

and I doubt I can tell right

with any certitude

from wrong let alone discern

probable truths. Try as I might,

it won’t make a blind bit

of difference. Let’s face it, the good stuff

has gone.

Far too long I’ve hunched over

my papers; time to adopt

a new position. Recently, I’ve been gazing

at the dock.

John Adams is retiring as a judge today and has written this poem as a marker. John’s debut collection, Briefcase (AUP), won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Poetry Book at the 2012 NZ Post Book Awards. John Adams also has a Masters in Creative Writing from The University of Auckland and  has been a consulting editor of legal texts – such as the Butterworths Family Law series.

Steele Roberts page

Auckland University Press page

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