(Photo: Nigel Parry)
(Photo: Nigel Parry)

Cops know that hands can kill us

always, watch the hands

hands comfort, carry, bring safety

they hold, caress, and lift us

hands give life

hands take life

make love, war

the touch of a hand can heal

it can bring immeasurable pain

hands make beautiful music

and art that brings tears

hands pull the trigger, wield the sword

throw the switch, light the fire

they give direction

and steer our course

hands serve the masters

of mind and heart

they are the instruments

of our values and desires

soft they are compassion

hard they are power

they can protect or destroy

and cops live by them

and die by them

hands defend cops from harm

send a bullet through a barrel

a baton toward its target

a pen or key onto paper or laptop

and our partners, friends

families and communities are the hands

that hold us.


Lucia Wroblewski is proud of her nearly twenty-four years of service as a Saint Paul street cop. She has worked every district, but most memorable of all were her seventeen years on her beloved East Side. She currently works in the West District. Lucia lives in the greater Saint Paul area with her soul mate Jen Moore, their two black labs Xena and Scout, and cat Willy.

Posted in: Poetry
Tagged: 2013, police