Saint-Jérôme Courthouse, Fall 1990


As Joe's character witness,
I speak to the Court in French,
My mother tongue.
I need to show
Not all French are against Mohawks
(Only the majority)
Here is one, and there are others,
Who need not be regarded as the enemy

The character witness for Tom Paul,
Who is a Mi'kmaq, has come from Nova Scotia.
Grand Chief Donald Marshall Sr.
Father of the wrongly convicted Donald Marshall Jr.
Who suffered eleven years in prison
Stands in the Court
Many exchange looks across the room
We are touched and thrilled

Hope rises in me
I swallow my tears
As I have often done lately
No one need
Utter the words
Miscarriage of justice
They hang in a thought balloon
Right above the judge

The symbolism is not lost on this Court
An important person
Is looking out for the Mohawks
Mi'kmaq people are standing
Shoulder to shoulder with Mohawks
Just as Mohawks stood with them at Restigouche in 1981
Grand Chief Marshall has very eloquently
Placed this struggle in the Historical Continuum