Only the guilty deny their crimes
with such composure, rising to find
the same white vans on the lawn outside,
the grim-faced reporters with their notebooks and satellite phones.
Only the guilty always look their best,
neatly coiffed, impeccably dressed,
flashbulbs igniting around their heads
like angels around the tonsures of the gods.
To their loyal supporters huddled back home,
or the former colleagues already flown
to ‘more enlightened’ taxation zones,
only the guilty wave with untrembling hands.
They alone manage the hearty meal
on the day of the hearing, endure the ordeal
with exemplary patience, and are back at the wheel
of a ninety-grand motor for a victory lap of the town
before those still employed come wandering home
exhausted, dejected, powerless as drones,
the burden of debt dragging them down
and such guilt they cannot look in a mirror.