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Poem: We Woke

A police advocate challenges the public to speak out against the ongoing assault on the brave men and women who wear the badge

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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 Susan Smith, a strong supporter of local law enforcement, who was asked by the Denver Police Museum to write a poem to honor fallen officers during 2021 Police Week.

“I was a founding board member for the museum, am actively involved with the Denver Police Foundation and, as a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, currently serve on the FBI Denver Citizens Academy Alumni Association board,” writes Susan. “I am always looking for ways to demonstrate community support for friends in law enforcement (and to challenge the silent majority to do the same!).

“My poem, ‘We Woke,’ is clearly in response to the ‘woke’ movement. My intent was to demonstrate another, very important perspective and to challenge those riding the fence to take a stand and demand that we start working toward solutions instead of the ongoing assault on our men and women who wear the badge – most of whom are good and decent human beings!”

Email your original writing submission for consideration to

We Woke

We woke to the cries of a city in pain,
Answering the call with no thought of gain.

We woke to the war waged on our streets,
Aware that the cycle continues and repeats.

We woke to the smell of death in the air,
And still respond with compassion and care.

We woke to screams of hatred and blame,
But walked the line just the same.

We woke with the hope that each day mattered
To those we helped who were bruised and battered.

We woke to bring protection and peace to others,
While praying for the safety of our sisters and brothers.

We woke and rushed to save your son,
We rescued your daughter on the run.

We woke to seek justice for those in pain,
Knowing their lives would never be the same.

We woke and pinned the badge to our chest
As our child hands us our bulletproof vest.

We woke to the call to protect and serve,
Robbed of the respect all people deserve.

We woke to face death so that others may live
Willing to pay a price most won’t give.

We woke so that you may live unaware
Of the battle that rages between hope and despair.

We woke to maintain the Thin Blue Line
Between civil society and humanity’s decline.

We woke to serve, protect and defend
Hoping to survive until our shift’s end.

We woke despite danger that calls our name
Saddened that others think we’re all the same.

We woke with the hope that you awaken too
And realize the importance of all that we do.

We woke, we rise, we answer the call
We fight for justice for one and all.

Click here to read more police poetry.

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