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.