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Penelope Weiss, of Shrewsbury, writes poems. She says, “Originally, about 50 years ago, I wrote some poems, but then I didn’t write for another 45 years or so. I’ve been writing these for the last five years probably. I need to speak. I need to communicate. I need to create images, ideas and communicate with people, and that’s one way to do it.”
In the Name of Divination (The Mouse Judge)
The mouse judge sits on his bench.
He looks at the crowd. He adjusts his crinkly white wig and scratches his head.
A young man is in the dock, chained like a slave.
It’s the end of summer. Moths fly through the moist air.
The mouse judge listens to their mutterings.
The moths talk about divination, how it’s a holy thing.
The judge smiles. In the name of divination, he once was ridiculed,
shut up in a cage, bent to the holy will of others.
“All rise,” shouts the bailiff, but the judge is already seated.
The judge remembers the cage where the worshipers had put him.
Even now their prayers chill his bones.
He remembers how he said things he never meant to say,
bowed to unworthy people, danced in the dust.
When they sang their sacred songs, he escaped.
He looks at the prisoner. The prisoner flinches. The trial begins.
— Penelope Weiss