Special Policeman

Gotham burned under orders of draft
For soldiers were needed down South,
But the people were having
None of it.

Postmasters’ homes, hotels, and
Whatever the mob wanted set fire to,
Was doused in flame until
The structure had nothing left to burn.

An outraged mayor called for action
Bringing citizens in as volunteer police
To create a legitimate force
To restore legitimacy to the drafting of men for war

Imagine that today
A politician summoning the people
To break the people’s will
Whether seen as protest or reckless mob lawlessness

Imagine in Ferguson or Baltimore
Had the people been in charge
Imagine in Minneapolis or Baton Rouge
Had the people been in charge

Perhaps things would have been better
Maybe the carnage would have been worse
Could there have been solutions from the masses
Would the power mongers have listened anyway

What we need is people to know
That they must call themselves to action
Living in the way that they want to live in
Creating the world they wish others to create

What we need is people to act
Not with violence or fresh depredations
But with smarts and savvy
To know cranking up the heat only makes it hotter

What we need is people to lose ego
Stopping to understand every side of an issue
Recognizing the blind spots residing deep within their values
So meaningful discussions can take place

For it’s only a guess
That uncertainty exists in all people
About the possibility of never reconciling
The ill feelings within

And until people put away whatever negativity
They harbor towards other people
Based on the color of skin or the thickness of wallets
The fear that people will act violently will always be there

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