Poem: Blue Line Life

A correctional officer provides an insight into the life of a correctional officer and the challenges of working in corrections

Calling all poets! CorrectionsOne's poetry column highlights some of the inspirational, moving and funny poems authored by our readers.

Sgt. Rebecca Eagleburger
Sgt. Rebecca Eagleburger

“Blue Thin Life” is by Sgt. Rebecca Eagleburger who began her correctional career in fall 2015 at the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility, a maximum security institution in Boscobel, Wisconsin. She promoted to sergeant in early 2018. Sgt. Eagleburger works second shift on various posts throughout the institution. 

“I came up with the poem when I was working third shift as echo sergeant trying to stay awake and the phrase, We are bonded not by blood, but a thin blue line, just kept running in my head,” said Eagleburger. “I take no credit for that phrase. I saw it on the plaque that was presented to the MN-DOC in memory of CO Joseph Gomm by the WI-DOC from Jackson Correctional Institution. I then thought about what myself and other officers go through and how we deal with our life and our blue line life. Then the words just kept flowing.”

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Blue line life

Every day we walk into halls with cells
All our senses on alert, prepared for any warning bells
We do what most people can’t imagine
Some days we feel like a knight fighting a dragon

A couple things you should know
And I am going to tell you so
Our radios are our life line
A brother and sister will never be left behind

No we don’t get guns or TASERs
Just our words are our savior
There are times we get jammed
But we work it and change what we had planned

Sixteen hours can be a long time
We make fun that we’re inmates that just did no crime
We miss family events and holidays too
You just don’t know how much we sacrifice and lose

We work where we are hated by most
But no matter their attempts, fall for their games we won’t
As long as we stay hand and hand
We can’t be knocked down, because united we stand

No one else really understands what we do
Some people just won’t know what we go through
We may act different and always watch our backs
It is our experiences that readies us for attacks

We do everything just to stay safe
We keep your nightmares in their place
At the end of the shift the goal is everyone goes home
No one is left behind and no one is ever alone

To my brothers and sisters in blue
To this color I will always stay true
We are bonded not by blood, but by a thin blue line
And I will always protect what is mine

“What is mine?” you ask
Every blue shirt present, future and past
Once you wear the badge a member you will always be
You will always be a part of the CO family

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