They held the memorial today for Roger “Stumpy” Mcghee.
Stumpy had retired eight months earlier
After twenty-five years a policeman;
His last seven years as chief.
He will be missed.
The Memorial started with Beatrice playing
Some of Stumpy’s favorites on her harp.
She started with Ellington’s “Take the ‘A’ Train,”
Segued into Monk’s “Well You Needn’t,”
And rounded off with Newman’s “Short People.”
She demurely bowed and turned things over
To the people who wanted to speak.
They turned Stumpy’s wrinkled uniforms into golden armor,
His baseball cap into a halo,
His bigotry into a stand against Political Correctness,
And his violent nature into protecting the city.
I don’t know why I had been asked to write a poem for today.
Perhaps they thought I knew him from my times in the drunk tank.
Perhaps they were right.
I couldn’t find the proper words.
Instead I recited an appropriate poem.
It was Shelley’s Ozymandias.
It is a good poem for anyone
Who embraces power.