So, I used to be a copper. A proper copper. A bonafide, handcuff swinging, stab-vest wearing, fast car driving, London copper. I’ve recently resigned, in order to spend more time with my young children and focus on my writing career. Another factor for me was my sensitivity levels. I found that becoming a mother made it much harder to deal with all the tough calls that coppers have to deal with every day. I found myself unable to let go of all the battered women and frightened children, the one’s I couldn’t stop thinking about when I lay down to sleep. Some may say that resigning was the cowards way out, after all, they’re still there, I just don’t have to see them every day. And I would agree. However, there comes a time when you have to think about yourself and your children. I couldn’t let myself turn into the cynical, weary copper I knew I would become. So I got out.
Now, I’m confident enough to admit that I struggled with some of the tough jobs and when I struggled, I turned to what I love to do. I turned to writing. I’m not sure why my thoughts came out as poetry, but they just did. I’m not a poet. I know nothing of rhythm, technique or anything else you’re supposed to consider when writing poetry. I like things to rhyme (apparently not good for poetry, who knew?) But these aren’t poems, they’re just me dealing with my thoughts and, if they make people stop and consider the awful things that coppers deal with, why they do what they do, how they put themselves out there ahead of others, well that can only be considered a bonus. I’d love to share all of my poems with you. In time, I hope that I will. But for now, I’ll start you off gently.
This one needs little introduction as it’s pretty self-explanatory.
Nothing Else To Do
You groan as you see me clock your seat belt as you pass,
You may hear that groan again as your head smacks off the glass.
You look at me and ask ‘Have you nothing else to do?’
Well yes but I’m now dealing with another prick like you.
It’s my job to interfere when I think that you might die,
If I didn’t stop and tell you, could I look me in the eye?
If you’d seen what I have seen then you’d belt up every time,
I’ve scrubbed and scrubbed can’t seem to shift the blood from every crime.
I’ve seen your future in the bloody mess of those who’ve gone before.
I’ve picked up severed limbs, hosed bits of brain from metal doors.
I’ve held a hand and reassured while crying eyes closed their last time,
I’ve sat and stared as zips closed over young men in their prime.
It is me who’ll have to listen as your widow cries and screams,
It is me who’ll tell your kids they’ll see you only in their dreams.
Who’ll be the one to hold them tight when they wake up in the night?
It won’t be you, you won’t be there, because you clearly didn’t care
Enough to strap yourself in tight.