Poem for Display at a Police Checkpoint

Playmobil Police Checkpoint

Sometimes, you need a bridge
where there is no river.
The ground falls away
& you need that pique experience —
looking down on everything
without ever having climbed,
sky & water wearing the calm
blue uniform of authority.
Held up by high-strung cables,
speeding through our lives,
we could all use a pause
to adjust our perspective,
get in touch with who
we really are & what
brings us here, dry-
mouthed or sweaty,
death as close
as a sudden, wild leap.

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4 Comments


  1. Really REALLY loved this one. So dark; so right.

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  2. love the opening two lines & “we could all use a pause to adjust our persective.” i love the cleverness of this. it’s amazing the things you write about and make beautiful and poetic.

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  3. Of all your municipal poems, this one most directly confronts our relationship with authority, I think. I like the high contrast the subject calls for: “calm blue,” “pause,” & “touch” vs. “high-strung” and “sudden, wild.” The contrast is more succinct in “dry-mouthed or sweaty” (though this wet/dry suggests a coming convergence), and most succinct in just the word “pique,” which is such a nice linchpin. Nicely done.

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  4. Thanks, y’all. It’s always gratifying to win the approval of people whose writing I respect, particularly in cases like this where I’m not sure if I succeeded in getting my meaning across.

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