Seeking peace 

(in honor of Pastor Lang)  

He had come downtown to help
keep the peace,
to keep the protesters a safe distance
from the storming police line,
who were pushing and shoving,
agitating the crowd, waiting
for a reason to unleash their anger
on these, mostly out of work,
young people, who feel left out
from their unalienable rights of Life,
Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,
guaranteed by our
Declaration of Independence.
He walks among them
in his full frock,
alb, stole, and cross,
for all to see that he is a man of God,
a lover of the Prince of Peace,
placing himself between
the police line and the protesters.
Suddenly the police attack,
grabbing a girl dressed in black, and
when her friend tries to pull her back
all hell breaks out.
He leaps to the forefront
to take his share of the assault
on the peaceful protesters,
the pepper spray cans come out.
He waves the protesters away
only to have six policemen drench
him, soaking him down to his skin,
then one of the police blast him
full force in his face. Blinded,
he is pulled away by the young ones,
thinking to himself,
‘How could this happen in America?
A priest gets beat by the police
on the streets of Seattle.’

—Charles Portolano, Fountain Hills, AZ