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A Different Era

Updated on December 3, 2015


There was nothing to hide,

everyone would know,

that the times have changed,

and it would show,

more than a half a century ago,

a police officer could fire his gun,

nothing would be done,

and he’d do it without worrying

whether the entrance wound

would be anterior or posterior,

and never be doomed,

or face the risk of civil liability,

no one would meddle,

and possible prosecution wouldn’t settle,

that was a different era,

a time when a cop could say,

with conviction, without friction,

and with a face as hard as a rock,

that he was a member of the biggest,

toughest, best armed gang on the block,

even city officials would ignore that shock,

and it was a pity,

because it was a different era,

an era that had the segregated city,

when the Civil Rights Movement was little more

than an angry whisper,

being swept out the door,

as tension would stack,

in fact,

most of the police involved shootings

of that time had racial overtones,

it wasn’t just white on black,

it was the men in blue who made the attack,

the black neighborhoods were sure,

that the presence of the city’s finest,

was just another plague to endure,

poverty, ignorance, despair, and police,

but it just wouldn’t stop,

there were two offenses for the young black,

talking up to a city cop,

or, worse, running from one,

and they were put to that test,

it would almost guarantee in a beating at best,

gunfire at worst,

which sparked the riots and the fights,

even the most prominent members of the black community

were made to endure insults and slights,

many would say,

we are much better off today,

when every other seventeen-year old street boy,

could be a walking sociopath,

making threats,

with a 9mm in the waistband of his sweats,

and drugs became a predominant economy on the street,

common sense takes a backseat,

as Lady Liberty drops her torch

by her feet,

she closes her eyes and feels the heat.


© 2011 Frank Atanacio

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    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

      I wish I had one-tenth of your poetic talent.

    • Marlin 55 profile image

      Marlin 55 5 years ago from USA

      Another insightful poem, Frank. You really tackle this age old issue with a fresh prose.

    • profile image

      Binaya.Ghimire 5 years ago

      The poem reminded me what a wonderful poet you are.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      A good poet is always a read's delight. I feel you touching me with your words. I say thank you Frank. You re a natural

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      thank all of you so much for your wonderful comments

    • reikieffect profile image

      reikieffect 5 years ago

      Beautiful, impactful and deep as usual Frank! For a moment, I became that cop thinking of the good old days.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      that was good old days? LOL thanks so much reik :)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Wow, this was deep and thought provoking. The old days when rubber hoses were standard equipment for interrogation. I watched the movie "To Kill a Mockingbird" the other day and your poem reminded me of those times. Very well done and memorable.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks pegcole :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Fabulous write Frank--I still wonder if they aren't just another gang--

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Another wonderful write, Frank...as always, makes you think...

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      wonderful poem! Strong powerful imagery! Images from the era just flashed in front of me!

      great work! :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks so much Audrey for visiting my different Era, and thank you too Justateacher for coming by and welcome Rahul0324 for your visit bless you guys :)

    • Kebennett1 profile image

      Kebennett1 5 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

      Wow. That was an awesome read! You have a wonderful grasp of imagery usage. Keep writing, I love your poetry!

    • ThunderKeys profile image

      ThunderKeys 5 years ago

      Very, very nice. I'd like to invite you to contribute a couple of verses to this continuous love poem:

      http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/96420#post2057006

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Frank, this sounds like a rap, feels like a rap, is rhythmic like a rap... is this a rap??? Great job.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      LOL no.. not a rap but you made me laugh thanks for that..LOL

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Came back for another read!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank Audrey for coming back :)

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      There you go again!! You go brother. You tell a story and you tell it hard, but you tell it from your soul. Very powerful piece my friend, and I hope you keep pumping them out.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Eye-catching title Frank. And a wonderful juxtaposition (how often do we get to use that word naturally in a sentence) of the sins and griefs of then and now. Lady Liberty was a wonderful final metaphor. A great poem. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thank you wayne barrett.. a little too winded though..right? LOL thanks for the visit and always good to see you too Phdast7 thanks for your continued support :)

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 3 years ago from East Coast

      Truth is often stranger and sadder than fiction. Excellent hub.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks express10 for the visit to my different era :)

    • sweetpikez profile image

      Pinky de Garcia 2 years ago

      Dear Frank,

      Truly, crime investigation yesterday and today has significant difference. This difference is evident on the crimes and involved people.

      Great read,

      Sweetpikez

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much sweetpikez.. bless you

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 2 years ago from Georgia

      Ah, this is what you had waiting that I didn't see before. Awesome way with words you have. And how appropriate for the times. Some things play like deja vu. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you Cyndi10 :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Isn't it ironic that you wrote this two years ago and the news is full of police problems now? Some things change, some never do. Now I think its the people, not the police in general, but that's another story. Speaking of another, this is another great poem with feeling and that special Frank sadness.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Til...:)

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 2 years ago from On planet Earth

      Hmmm well said Frank i think i need not say too much......

      Well done and keep up the Good work always

      God be with U

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Lady for reading my era :)

    • profile image

      christinemariezzz 2 years ago

      Frank,

      Very nice.

      The first 12 words, and the last 17 are the book ends to your poem: a straight arrow to a period affecting individual social history.

      Fourth -graders, nine-year olds today could read it, ask to interpret, and then have discussions. The intelligence of our youth is really where these issues need to count.

      Additionally,

      I agree with Mary, it truly carries "special Frank sadness"

      -christinemarie

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you Christinemarie for reading my different era :

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Frank, after 20 months, it holds up beautifully, a serious strong and soulful lament of a poem .... which is as it should be.

      Sharing. Everyone should read this, several times. Blessings. Theresa

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton

      thank you so much phdast7 :)

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 15 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Two eras each unsatisfactory as we deal with man's and societies failings. Well stated and needed.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton

      thanks perspycacious...

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 14 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Times have certainly changed! Some things are better and others worse. Lady Liberty (if she could) would probably be shaking her head.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 14 months ago from Shelton

      thank you Peggy W :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 13 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      You are the prince of poetry and prose Frank! I especially liked the finale with Lady Liberty and her torch as a metaphor.

      Brilliant!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      thank you so much vocal for visiting

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