Zöe Blaylock

Court of Private Opinion

Ask for neither leniency nor mercy
from those who judge on whim and fancy
and convert all to evidence of tort
tart enough to make lips pucker if not purse.


Beg neither patience nor pardon
of those who cunningly catalog merely your faults
and adjudicate your character, leaving you,
should their surmise be true, a stranger to yourself.


If hope of an equitable hearing cannot be,
unshackle to free. Never rebut or worry the sore.
There is no need to slam, just shut the door.

Zoë Blaylock is a Pushcart-nominated writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Examined Life Journal of the University of Iowa School of Medicine, the other side of hope: journeys in refugee and immigrant literature, La Piccioletta Barca, and in other publications. She lives in San Diego California with her husband and a series of big, old, gentle dogs. http://www.HereForThePresent.com

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