Cop on the Beat

Cop on the Beat




(for Ben Hatke)




He knew the challenge of the dirty street,

Where even petty crime is wired to power.

He knew the skepticism that tastes sweet,

The lonely strength that never has to cower.

So he was ready for the crowded hour

Which found both crime and honesty revealed.

What had long crouched within became a tower.

A lantern and two rings: his fate was sealed.

His predecessor in the stellar field

Gave up the very ghost John Stewart shared

With him – and in that very death was healed

Of what this world had done to him.  Who cared

That life had fled?  For life was now complete:

Another honest cop was on his beat.



–Tom Riley