Bio Note: I am a retired RCMP officer living in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador with my wife of 46 years. I enjoy writing and have been putting pen to paper for many years. Retirement has given me more time to spend on this hobby. I write fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Photo credit: Wayne Hebb
The young are free, they say, Free from the past because They have little or none Free from doubts for nothing is Impossible Free from deciding who loves them And who they love because Love is universal Free from all those things Which make life difficult Free to face each day With wonder and awe Living life’s secret without knowing Aging is easy, What’s hard is Keeping the child inside.
Ride to a Funeral
We sat in the limo Somber faces, some talking In quiet murmurs As we travelled to The stadium Where the funeral would Proceed for two fallen officers My nephew, one of these Brave souls, who Responded to a house disturbance Then shot dead Sadness and anger Lay within us As motorcycled police led us Through cold wet streets, Crammed with troops of police And first responders Standing at attention as we passed Police cars, lights flashing Lined each side People in toques and winter coats Stood on sidewalks, some saluting Others with hands on their chests A homeless man leaning on a post In front of Ranch’s Bar and Grill Shivered slightly His hand laid over his heart A woman in a purple coat saluted, tears escaping Forming wet lines in her make-up A man video taping with his cell phone Took a draw from his cigarette Blowing a trail of smoke Orange leaves blanketed the sidewalks Where teenagers stood Some silent Some with nervous smiles A woman with a golden setter Watched as we passed, The dog searching for that Something it sensed Nearing the stadium We passed through a gauntlet Of police, fire, ambulance attendants All standing, some saluting, some with Heads bowed in prayer Stoic faces A few with that far off look At the stadium, more officers Different uniforms but one sole purpose Bag pipes, playing a poignantly Beautiful tune As we left the limo to attend A celebration of life that began with death.
The sun shone bright Yet its warmth could not Cut through the wind and cold As I walked the trail behind The houses It was my escape from The city, away but not too far Like a child on their first walk Keep walking, I thought If for nothing but to keep warm A hulking man shuffled toward me Wearing old clothes, with unfashionable holes Blanketed by a ratty full-length sweater A woman’s sweater, I thought I had seen him once before on this trail Wearing the same clothes I said ‘Hello’ as I passed He grunted something, perhaps hello, As he continued shuffling With no purpose other than To keep warm
©2023 Wayne Hebb
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