Serve and Protect

Before I could 
hold seven numbers 
in my brain,
I was told to look 

for a policeman
(in those days, we called 
them all policemen) if
ever I was lost and 

one would help me.
Kind men in blue cotton
shirts and pants, 
polished shoes,

soft-soled for comfort, 
service cap with shiny
black bill below a gold
badge. These were the

ones with white gloves
who could direct 
traffic with a brightly 
whistled hand ballet.

Most seemed skinny,
lanky like my cousin
Bobby, and the thick black
belt’s first job was to

hold up pants, not 
so much to house
the implements of 
immobilization and

constraint, the cuffs,
gun, taser, pepper
spray hiding under
the bottom of a 

military vest,
military helmet
on his head, plastic
face shield.  All of which

just jumped from the
back of a tank like
landing at Normandy,
except it was the 

corner of 8th and Main
right in front of Scooter’s
Bar & Grille, and none
of the black folks 

in the crowd are 
surprised because they
never heard he might
help them get home.

© 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved

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