Sunday, January 15, 2017

Day 15: To Bato's Cop

How many criminals has incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa killed? Dela Rosa seemed stumped by the question during a radio DZMM interview Friday, saying only his priest knows the answer… He also revealed that he sometimes weeps in church when he is asking for forgiveness from God. "I am no cold-blooded killer," he said.”

Who doesn’t need
poetry under a crescent moon
on a white-noised night,
and urine-stenched air,
to kill and put a gun on a 
dead man’s hand
before the radiomen
get to the bloodied street?
You have been assured,
a price for every head
and pardon, if you make a mistake.
You never had it so good in your prosaic world.
It's hard to live you say
when people are  rollicking in 
kaleidoscope dreaminess 
the way that grass
fools the mind of the 
lightness of living
when there is work to do
like build roads and
people do their tripping.
It is your job, in fact, 
to strike out an item
from a list
the way a butcher knocks off a
cut from the carcass of a hog
on a manifest.
Please take a second
to see that the words on the list
are not ribs, hocks, or tails,
but somebody’s name 
who might have been your dad 
or wife from another life,
a fellow human with a face. 
Yet, counter-factuals, you say, 
are irrelevant to your work.
It is easier for a man like you,
bemedalled soldier of the state,
to go home to your real wife, 
tell her how you survived the shoot out with the man, 
who came like the pied piper to take 
people's kids away, he with the evil laugh,
breathing fire as he struck, he was dead
before he could shoot -- 
a little spin here and there 
and you, 
with the heart of a rock,
declare shouldn't we be happy to be alive?
Who doesn't need poetry?

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