Now and Then
The Judge was very kind. He called her up
to sit beside him for her evidence,
spoke to her always gently, put a stop
to any funny stuff by the defence.
The deadly knife-edge of his tongue and look,
feared by so many, he concealed from her.
(He turned them on the raper in the dock
of course, but only when she was not there.)
And kind he is, loves children, keeps his hate
all for the hateful, is just what he seems,
is just, is Justice, to unrighteousness
a scourge, to injured innocence aid. And yet
those kindly features now in her bad dreams
merge with that other frightening frightened face.