Sunday Poem

Judicial Temperament

Thurgood whispers in Sonia’s ears

             You know they said the same things about me?
Master two languages, graduate at the top
They still sneer and drawl
about how ‘qualified’ you are.”

Si, asi siempre es. she sighs.

The only quality the senators want is a mirror on the bench.

I await the sounds of Sotomayor
Rolling her Rs through oral arguments
Putting the Latin tenses in all the right places
Ruffling the feathers of the old birds
who learned their pronunciation second hand.

Inter rusticos
In forma pauperis
In flagrante delicto.

by Dan Vera
from Split This Rock


Thurgood Marshall: first black US Supreme Court justice
Sonia Sotomayer: first Hispanic US Supreme Court Justice