In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, I have been rereading some of my poems in my collection about police misconduct, Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats. I am even more disturbed now than when in 1995 I started writing poems taken from headlines of police misconduct and police killings of the innocents, especially kids. This poem, “The Slaughter of the Innocents, is from said collection:
Another policeman stands accused
Of yet another innocent’s death.
Community pressure on prosecutors
To indict this killer cop.
A 13-year-old boy with a toy gun,
Like a common criminal shot dead.
One moment alive, playing cops and robbers,
The next dead – a moment far too many parents dread!
At the morgue, the parents identify their boy,
A still life picture of him on a stainless steel slab –
Recent memories of him playing with his toy.
Mother and father dab at their eyes.
They look at their dead son in disbelief,
Unable to contain their unspeakable grief.