There needs to be more poetry in the world. So, to do my part, I thought I’d share some poetry. Sometimes I will post my own and sometimes others’ work. Then, I will talk a little about the poem. Today will be Hero, my own work:
A small word
Such great meaning
Used to describe those
who run towards the sound of battle
Those who see need
and answer with action
the helpless, frightened, needy-
more than themselves.
Standing between us all
and all we fear.
not without fear
But understanding that their fear
cannot stop their action
Decisions made long ago
brought to fruition in
As they stand to face the devil-
Knowing they may fall.
A small word
Such great meaning-
Reaching out with its arms to encompass
All those things we cannot say-
The words we cannot get past
The lump in our throat.
(For Bill, and Scott, Chris, Jason, Jeff, and Jeremy
I wrote this poem in the wake of an officer-involved shooting in the city where I worked. I was a police dispatcher, 9-1-1 operator, and supervisor at a mid-size department. Our squads were small enough that we personally knew all of the officers we worked with, and there was a lot of camaraderie.
The night in question, a home invasion and murder took place, and as we responded our officers became involved in a pursuit of the suspect. The pursuit ended with the suspect bailing out of his car shooting. One of my guys was hit and went down. The others protected him, returning fire while one of them dragged him out of the hail of bullets and then shielded him with his own body. The teamwork and sacrifice of the officers on the scene was inspiring and heart-wrenching–these were truly brothers willing to lay down their lives for each other, and for the city they protect and serve.
The officer who was shot was paralyzed, but came back to work as an investigator and continues to inspire others around him. He was named as the 2009 America’s Most Wanted All-Star, and to this day is a dynamo of service and strength.
The dispatchers who were working that early-morning couldn’t be on the scene to provide physical assistance. Their story often remains untold–but they listened as the incident was going down and had help on the way before the shooting even took place. Their actions were heroic in their own sphere of influence. I remain honored to this day to have been able to work with all of the members of my police department, they are all HEROES.
A couple of links to the story and what this hero has done since then: