Registry of deeds

Enter through the house of mirrors…
While twisting in every direction,
Told that left is right and back is front,
Somehow you will be directed to the right place.

You might expect long lines,
But great matrixes of kiosks accept your queries.
Some wait a lifetime to check in here,
But you can drop in as you choose.
Gigaflop calculators are rating you day and night.

The deeds are stuffed into drawers, sheaves and reams.
They pour out when the tumblers of the locks are turned.
The jousts with the awkward boy who always sniffled…what an embarrassment.
Those enticing figures you brought from the elevator through labyrinths of hotel corridors..is it possible
They will review the deeds too?

And finally the naked deed stripped of its finery:
The mumbled justifications, the point-by-point legal citations, the joking dismissals, the umbraged protestations, the whines.

Soaking in more motives than a Dashiell Hammett mystery,
The deed is undergoing real-time re-evaluation every moment,
Error factors rebalanced by new considerations,
The history of the world being applied to your judgment.
You may call the deed something different every day: just consideration, cowardly act, desperate reaction, finest moment.
The deeds are immutable,
But may be linked to new ones.

Old blow and tomorrow’s redemption,
Former achievement and sudden revearsal,
Morning funk and wee-hour rally.
Each new deed is registered along with the others.

When you start to run out,
Take the deeds into your arms,
Hold the book in your right hand,
Lift it to show all who can see what remains.

Andy Oram
July 9, 2018

More poems