Police Officer Keith VonRapacki
"The Final Inspection"
The policeman stood and faced his God,
which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My church have you been true?"
The policeman squared his shoulders
and said, "No Lord. I guess I ain't.
Because those who carry badges,
can't always be a saint."
"I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was rough...
and sometimes I've been violent
because the streets are awful tough."
"But I never took a penny,
that wasn't mine to keep...
though I worked a lot of overtime
when the bills got just too steep."
"And I never passed a cry for help,
though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I wept unmanly tears."
"I know I don't deserve a place
among the people here.
They never wanted me around
except to calm their fear."
"If you've a place for me here, Lord,
it needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But, if you don't...I'll understand."
There was silence all around the throne,
where saints had often trod,
as the policeman waited quietly
for the judgement of his God.
"Step forward now, policeman
You've borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on heaven's streets.
You've done your time in hell."
-Katherine A. Thompson, former Kansas
State Trooper Dispatcher