I wrote this poem while watching on TV the memorial service at the Capitol where Brian Sicknick lay in state. He was apparently one of the few civilians ever to be afforded that honor. Brian Sicknick was a Capitol Policeman, charged with guarding the Capitol building, and was injured when he was attacked by rioters on January 6. He died the next day of his injuries.
I found the rhythmic, synchronized motions of the policemen who celebrated his life very moving, and their solemnity really brought home what a blow it is to us all, to lose a guardian of our liberty in such a way. My sympathies to the family and I hope they will excuse me for trespassing on their grief, with my poem.
Thank you for coming by to read.
Below the dome, the velvet ropes
Encircle. Placed with care,
The ashes, oh, the ashes join
The flag’s enfolding stare.
The cops approach them, two by two.
The sentries never flinch,
Then march the relics down the staircase,
Inch by solemn inch.
A cold day, at the Capitol.
The bagpipes wheeze like wind.
The Speaker’s hair blows to and fro.
Her legs are stockinged, thin.
The cops line up like soldiers
And they bow their heads in prayer.
Their white gloves rise in one salute,
And rend the frigid air.
The bike cops push off jointly,
As their bomber blues inflate,
Then motorbikes with sidecars
Guide the hearse, as black as slate.
To Arlington, to Arlington!
What potentate or king?
What senator, what governor
Lies centered in this ring?
What mighty man has earned such laurels?
Hero, to us all.
He gave his life, to guard this fortress.
How the Mighty fall.
Copyright 2021 Andrea LeDew
For another poem commemorating amazing service to our country, read Elijah.