"Waiting in the dark

It was just an average night,
Riding on patrol.
The blare of the two way radio,
Drove the silence from my soul.

Dispatch calls for the state police,
to answer a domestic call,
A husband and wife were in dispute,
It had turned into a brawl.

I was not a trooper,
But I was a policeman too,
My boss had said, "Don't answer the call,
Unless it's given to you."

Interdepartmental squabbles,
About who's calls were who's,
Had led to department policy,
I had no right to choose.

I was only a mile away,
While the trooper was some distance.
I chose to wait beside the road,
And offer my assistance.

I waited several minutes,
Just down the road I'd park.
The minutes seemed like hours,
As I waited in the dark.

Before I realized it,
Fifteen minutes had gone by.
I wondered if someone was coming,
The tension was quite high.

Another blare of the radio,
The silence abruptly mired.
Dispatch said, "Code 3 right now,
For shots are being fired."

I had waited too long,
I had made a terrible mistake.
By policy, I'd done the right thing,
By morality, I was late.

When I arrived, I found the man,
Lying in the yard.
One quick shot with a 9mm,
His stomach severly marred.

I raised his head in my hands,
He looked into my eye,
One single tear ran down his cheek,
I knew I couldn't cry.

His eyes, they seemed to pierce my soul,
As if he knew what I had done.
He died there as I held him,
His chest pressed against my gun.

My uniform was stained with blood,
From a man that should not have died.
As paramedics loaded his body,
I stepped to the darkness and cried.

I think I killed a man tonight
I did not use my gun.
I used department policy,
Rather than doing what I should have done,

I can't remember the victim's face,
I can't remember his name,
But his eyes light up my vacant soul,
Like a mighty fire's flame.

Kevin Hale

Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1998 - All Rights Reserved

and may not be duplicated without permission
Be sure to check out his site -
Living With PTSD

Kevin also works with Another Day Ministries
and Police PTSD Survivors in South Carolina
National Center for Police Officers with PSTD

God doesn't want us to be struck down, lonely or in pain (emotional or physical)
He has a Very Special Plan that will help us through those valley experiences!
Be sure to check out "Your Closest Back-Up" for help!

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