Because the law gave him an ethical basis to hide behind money–
defend the indefensible, assail the unassailable–he could.
It is April. The day is warm on the day of the trial, the smell
of coffee fills the halls and for the exhilaration this brings, he could.
To save a son staggering in debt, for small creature comforts,
to indulge his wife's extravagances, to pamper his lover, he could.
Notwithstanding being the champion of Blacks,
hero of the Scopes trial and Sweet case, he could.
He could, for the same reasons he was defense attorney
for Leopold and Loeb, for attorneys caught bribing jurors.
While a hero of the down-trodden, he defended the owners
who had locked 29 of 30 exits of the Iroquois Theater fire. 506 dead.
A chameleon and opportunistic, he changed like the seasons,
the hands of a clock. A master of the camouflage, he could change
from the righteous, the rod and staff, to the reproachable,
fire and brimstone, or the brown praying mantis, into a leaf,
to catch its prey for the "green" he loved best.