Cowboys on Concrete
by Jeff Hidlebranndt
There are TV shows and movies about the cowboy way.
And I’ve heard people question if it’s relevant today.
Does the cowboy code of ethics really still apply?
Do cowboys help the needy or like others, pass them by?
Do they stand up for the helpless and when asked, they volunteer?
Are they brave? Is there compassion? Do they act despite the fear?
Have you seen a cowboy lately? Have you really looked around
to see who rides to help you out when all the chips are down?
Do you recognize the cowboy? Not the swagger or the hat
but the cowboy way of helping out when we’re in need of that.
They’re the ones who face down danger when others run away;
the ones whose life is on the line protecting us each day.
But, do you know the courage that it takes to heed the call
and run into a burning building that could kill them all?
Or the fear they have to swallow as they make a traffic stop
cause the world is full of crazies who’d just love to kill a cop.
Have you ever felt as though a target’s painted on your chest?
Are you haunted by the nagging thought you didn’t do your best?
Are there memories you just can’t shake
of choices that you had to make
and chances that you had to take
to risk for someone else’s sake?
Do you know the code of silence they maintain when they go home?
To protect their loved ones from the truth, they carry it alone.
One wife described it like a dance; they circle round the fears
and hold each other tightly to keep away the tears.
And yet, each time the call goes out that someone is in danger
these heroes saddle up and ride like modern day Lone Rangers.
Cause there’s another feeling that they all get to share:
That right now, someone is alive,
a child in danger did survive,
a family won’t be wracked with grief,
the city’s safe from one more thief.
Inside, they all share this belief;
The world is better ‘cause they’re there.
They’re cowboys on the concrete. When you see one, pray God’s grace
will surround and will protect them from dangers that they face.
Then thank those first responders. They do what must be done
and they deserve our gratitude. So we salute you, everyone.
C&I's Poem of the Week for September 8, 2010. To submit your poem, send to firstname.lastname@example.org with "poetry" as the subject.