Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Paranoid Police Helicopter Blues: a poem

Tonight, I lay in bed,
watching a French film from World War II,
listening to the incessant hum
of a police helicopter hovering
over my neighborhood.

This sound, the “whir-whir”
of police helicopter wings,
is pretty much a nightly thing
in my town.

My mom, who lives one town over,
told me that she calls the police
whenever she sees a police helicopter.
I never do.
For me, it seems like
an exercise in futility,
because they are always there,
every night,
hovering over my city,

I wonder what they are doing up there
in those helicopters.
Tonight, walking to my local bar,
I looked up and watched
a police helicopter hover,
without moving, for a long time.

It reminded me of a sentinel
from the X-Men, or of the 20-something
kid in “security” fatigues
who I saw standing, sentinel-like,
intimidating, in front of the administration
building of Fullerton College,
where I teach English.

I waved at him this morning
and he shot me a mysterious look,
which wordlessly said,
“Keep moving. Nothing to see here.”
Or the state police officer
I saw today at Cal State Fullerton,
where I also teach English,
wearing a bullet-proof,
kevlar vest.

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