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Poem: Tearing down the wall

How peer support helped an officer through trying times


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Calling all police poets! Police1’s poetry column highlights some of the inspirational, moving and funny poems authored by our readers.

This poem is by a 13-year veteran officer and peer support team member Josh Gooden.

“Peer support helped me through some very troubling times and helped save my career,” said Josh. “If I could pass one thing on to other officers, especially the younger generation, it would be to always talk to someone about the things that bother you from the job. And if their department doesn’t have a peer support team, do your best to get one started. It can be used for small day to day situations, or bigger traumatic events.”

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Tearing down the wall

All my life I remember, just what I wanted to be,
Not a doctor or a lawyer, policing was for me.

To be the one you call on, when your day is not too fair,
I want to save the world, and let them know I care.

But no one ever warned me, or told me what I would see,
Or that I would keep a lot of things, bottled up in me.

So I would lay a brick between me and the light,
The light that keeps me happy, and helps me continue the fight.

I didn’t think ahead, or speak to anyone, about the nightmares I was having about the man with the gun,
Or the parents I left crying, when I told them about their son.

So another brick is laid, as I lose a little light,
And I would just keep stacking bricks with every gruesome sight.

Then I got the call, the one, that nobody wants to hear,
My brother calling for help, every officer’s worse fear.

Was there something I could have done, I often asked myself,
But instead of asking for help, I filled myself with guilt.

I laid another brick, and that one finished the wall,
I didn’t know where to turn, or if I had help at all.

Then somewhere from the darkness, a friend came to me,
A friend that was sent by God, to show me the light so I could see.

He said he’s here to help me, and he would see me through,
And we would tear down that wall, and let the light shine through.

I thought my road had ended, but God told me it’s just begun,
And he needed me to help someone else, just as my friend had done.

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