The Law-Court by Oktay Rıfat

For their stony fields and pastures
They are crammed into the law-court
Crumbs of bread and tobacco in their pockets
In their wallets lists of witnesses
Thumbprint signatures proof of transactions
Their women and donkeys
Wait in the market-place
The courtroom is dingy it stinks of dung
But on the judge’s robe
The ribbons shine with propriety

translated by Ruth Christie & Richard McKane

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