A Patrolmanís Departure
They are standing straight and stoic, they are standing glove-to-glove,
It is raining, it is freezing, but they stand for pain and love.
Their hat-brims hide the hatred and the torture in their eyes,
They cannot help but feel the void when one of their own dies.
The service now is over and the widow staggers out,
All arms now at attention as the bagpipes cry and shout.
Flag-draped casket on six shoulders, could this day get any worse?
A saluteís the silent answer as they load him in the hearse.
The speeches done, the songs are sung, itís time now for a ride,
The cortege is enormous, like a head-of-state has died,
The lights roll infinitum and the grief is crawling past,
Us citizens just stand there, we are watching to the last.
We wonder at the pageantry, our heads shake in despair,
We think as the three-shot volley pierces through the morning air,
"Oh, this didnít have to happen, what an awful tragic day"
"In this sea of hurt and anguish, how will Justice find its way?"
But as the ranks disperse and as they trudge back to their cars,
We know that for the killer await four walls of iron bars.
Theyíll put aside their grief just like theyíre trained so well to do,
For even crafty killers canít evade this mass of blue.
So the funeral has ended, and the mayor has gone home,
Iíve heard some people question, "are we well within the zone,"
"To put on such a costly show for cops just pounding pavement?"
But how can we sit Ďround and judge a slain copís final payment?
To say itís inappropriate, to question it with scorn,
Shows that you know nothing of the target that is worn,
On every good copís vest or shirt, on every trooperís heart,
It calls out like a bulls eye, it is simply called the badge.
Used with Special Permission of the Author,
Gabriel L. Nathan
Copyright © 1997 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission