A poem my wife wrote in honor of National Law Enforcement Memorial Day. She posted it on her writing
Is it quiet in the locker room? Is their friendly banter?
Do they think of their wives? Do they look at pictures of their children?
Or do they hum the tune to their favorite song?
Do they know if tonight is the night they will pull the trigger as the gun sinks on their hips?
When they don the uniform that binds them as brothers, do you know the weight they feel?
It's not the undershirts that keeps the sweat away, or the ballistics vests the keep their hearts safe.
It's not the blues, greens, and black
Colors that signifies unending bond. Or the belts with their tools of the day.
Their guns, tasers, capsicum spray. The handcuffs, the back ups, the magazines that keep others bullets at bay. The batons, the knives, the gloves.
Even with all that, all that they carry, do they feel the weight?
It's when they button their shirts, straiten their badge does the weight fall.
It's their life they feel so heavy.
You spit, you spray.
You shout, you scream.
You accuse, and point.
You cuss, you threaten, you kill them with your eyes.
It's their fault you got pulled over. It's their fault you disobeyed. It's their fault that you were caught.
You blame them, you fight them.
You take their lives away.
And when the true evil touches your lives, when it grazes the cheeks of your sleeping child
You pick up the phone and call
Beg them to save your precious possessions, and your expensive things.
You forget the threats, you forget the dead.
You just want them there. With their badges, their guns, their lives.
How easily you forget the sacrifice they make. Not one day, not ten, not a thousand days, but every day, They come.
They come when we want them, they come when we need them,
These hero's of the night.
When you cry out for help, and when no one is brave to aid, they will come.
When fear makes you run, they will come.
When you shoot at them, when you throw bottles, knives, bats alike, they will come.
They run to your side, and not away. Protect you with their bodies.
Do you really know who they are? Do you really know what they do?
They foot pursue down the dark dangerous ally. They creep along, heavy wooded lines looking for what they cant find.
Into drug filled houses, with what the dogs and cats leave behind. Children sitting in their filth for a time.
Into fire fights, into domestic fights, into bar fights.
Into the world of the rich right down to the poor.
Don't judge the ones that will stand without fear for you.
You drive by them, ignore them. You tell them what to do.
When will you be ready to take their place? When will you stand for needles to the face?
Will you spill your blood? Will your spouse's blood?
Will you stand in the way?
They are thousands strong, yet losing every day.
Do you care? Do you stop, take a moment and feel the loss
of a father, mother, brother, sister?
How certain are you that the one you love will come home tonight?
How certain are you they wont be shot at? Knifed? Or Spat at?
How certain are you that drunks with diseases wont bleed all over them when they get into a fight?
What horrors does the one you love see when they go to work?
Do they see children without a chance?
Do they see lives devoted to drugs?
What would you do?
Would you go and protect the one I love? Into a house stuffed with guns?
As my lover walks away from me each and every day. A small voice inside asks me,
Will today be the day? Will I get the call? Will there be a knock on my door?
Will I lose my partner, my friend, my husband?
Will I lose him to a drug deal gone bad? Or a shooter gone mad? Will I lose him for his badge? Or will it be he was just standing there?
Oh, blessed relief when I get the call. "I'm headed home."
"I love you." I say, biting the tears away.
"I love you too." He'll say.
He kisses me when he comes home, and I know
We survived another day.
Copyrighted KK, 2011