When I See The Police Carry Arms.

A policeman with a gun

patrolling the perimeter

of the Bull Ring

whilst I watch on,

a deep furrowed look

on my face

and the steam from the tea

wrestling with the open air

opens the memory

of seeing such a thing in New York.

Policed by consent, yet bullets on British streets,

a tag line for the latest West End Show,

doesn’t have the same ring as

Bullets over Broadway,

isn’t as deadly, as yet,

as bullets over Baghdad

and inside I feel fear,

an itchy trigger finger,

a small embolism, the fury

of the brain clogging up

and the first bullet flies,

fired without consent

into the unsuspecting

and the early morning worker

desperate for release

from their monotony.

My first night in New York,

I was advised by Carlos,

you need a gun,

I refused,

as I refuse now,

to entertain the idea

that any weapon is worth carrying

just to go outside on the streets

of home.


Ian D. Hall 2017