Justice

a bruised woman walks
in clothes torn and dirty
and clanking chains

her hair a mess
barefooted
bloodied
numb

an angry mob spits
and shouts and swears
throws feces and rotten fruit
she does not listen
she does not dodge

the men are enraged

men stare at her ass
and grab her tits
when she brings them ale
they hope for sex
and make dirty jokes
when no one is looking
they pleasure themselves
to the memory of her

the women are vengeful

women stare at her dress
gossip and scheme
yell at their men for looking
and call her a whore
a slut and a harlot
they tell the magistrate
over and over again
something should be done

the kids… well, they follow
their parents’ lead

a boy falls when playing
chafes his knee and cries
she picks him up
cleans the wound
and tells him a joke
her warm smile
makes him forget the pain

the magistrate waits

he visits her many times
his wife does not know
but after many people came to him
he has no choice
a woman shall not be promiscuous
the penalty is clear

a bruised woman kneels
as the executioner takes her ear
the mob goes silent
a scream
blood runs and drips
an ear is held high
the people cheer

justice is done

a proud woman stands
and is unashamed
as the mob goes silent

for all her troubled life
to herself she was true

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