cop

Free form poetry.

Posted on

Policing a Community

 

A salty policeman struggles to lift his hand

to the hand of a stranger.

Community meetings force him

from the comfort of a cruiser.

He walks along an uneven path

through downtown streets

leaving muddy boot prints,

each one crushing his aspirations.

Stress is part of the deal, but where trust once existed,

media has stripped completely away.

The pride once gained by risking our lives for strangers,

is gone. “Stranger” never meant what it does today,

like it did back in the day.

Back when “neighborhood” meant something.

Back when you didn’t ask police to raise your kid,

or scare them straight because they embarrassed you in public.

Back when civil disputes were handled by adults,

when simple things wouldn’t tear at the very foundation

of our society.

Yes, we’re wired for scary things.

Yes, we hunt active shooters

and run toward the gunfire… the evil you pretend

does not exist, that which looms in the back of your mind daily.

Why I risk everything for people who want me dead

is my own mystery. One for me to work out on my own.

My sisters and brothers will continue to protect the innocent,

enforce antiquated laws, and do what we can to crush

the stereotypes.

So we’re far from simple nuts and bolts,

robotic if you will. Strip away the badge and the gun.

Beneath the pain and suffering is a man or woman,

same as you. Nothing too fancy.

Beneath a ballistic vest and forty-pounds of accoutrements

we want the same thing, and we’re prepared to make

the ultimate sacrifice to obtain or provide it.

-C.L.Swinney (c) 2017

Posted on Updated on

What I Saw Before It Was Too Late

Normally clear eyes sting then blur.

Pedestrians scamper dodging siren echoes

smashing off buildings. Radio waves disappear,

my head flutters with life’s thoughts:

the dog needs her teeth pulled, my

wife is mad at me, the kids

start school soon, my cover car

is miles away…Calm down, you’ve

got a matter of minutes to save her.

She’s trapped in a burning vehicle

and I’m queasy. I’m there, she is not.

Tiny hair stand up on the back

of my neck. Is someone in

the shadows? What the…boom! It’s

over for me. A second Boom!

It’s over for him. Two

dead bodies, no answers, no purpose.