Code Green: A poem to all those who suit up each day in corrections

In celebration of the many men and women who dedicate their lives to keeping the public safe

By Craig Gottschalk, Sgt. 0569

They put on their uniform ... shirt, pants and boots
Knowing that in a few minutes off to work they will scoot

A short prayer of contrition, thanks and love
A request for armored angels from the Lord above


Prayers for themselves and their uniformed crew
To make a night ... and a shift ... safely through

Their place of toil and burden is behind locked doors, wire and gates
Where nere a soul is afraid to cry out their stories of hell and hate

No officer - male or female - weak or strong
Can take alone the taunts, the insults, the jeers for long

A place where every look and glance and evil stare
Makes them wonder why they choose to be there

No outside soul can know or understand
What it is like to walk a beat in this steel, this evil, this concrete land

Watching their six and keeping each safe
Running to the call that is inevitably placed

“Officer Down” and in need of care!
Seconds seem like minutes when a “Code Green” is aired

They come running, these souls in blue, black and brown
Ready to fight, to cajole ... to take evil down

Their brother, their sister, their shift mate cries
They promise each other that tonight ... no one dies!

We learned quick to duck ... as blood, feces and insults flew
And yet no family or friend can believe ... our stories to be true

They say, “That can’t be the truth ... the world you must endure”
We say, “It’s a side of our society that’s just not quite so pure”

Citizens can’t acknowledge they live amongst us, on a completely different plane
This horde - these eyes of evil ... angst ... and pain

For they care not of you ... or me ... or anything fair
They have their immediate addiction or want ... to which their allegiances bear

So we place our lives, our families our aching self
On a back burner for society’s health

We take to the floor and walk our gauntlet of threats
Trying to beat the host of “he’ll not last a week in this pod” ... inmate bets

Our time on the floor goes from slow, to boring, to fatally fast
Our scars, our memories, our experiences ... will a lifetime last

We take the pain, the threats and fears ... and keep them close to the vest
No burden to others do we wish to invest

No one understands how precious is our time away
To be out ... from this den of evil ... to just sleep ... or play

Family and faith are our rock, our soul, our guiding light
To not sink in despair during our daily fights

No tat nor coup ... will an inmate notch
As our Guardian Angels are on constant watch

Code Green - to officers is a recognized call
To step up - to brace - against the fall.

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