Poem: If you could see what I see

A police chief offers a glimpse into the tragedies officers see every day that strengthen their resolve to serve their communities


Chief Michael Cloutier's poem recently received national attention on CNN. Read more here.

Calling all police poets! PoliceOne’s new column highlights some of the inspirational, moving and funny poems authored by our readers.

After 17 years working in a municipal service, Chief Michael Cloutier, MPA, transitioned into campus law enforcement. He wrote this poem a few years back, during the height of anti-police sentiment in our country. 

Email your submissions for consideration to editor@policeone.com.

If you could see

(Photo/PoliceOne)
(Photo/PoliceOne)

If you could see what I have seen, maybe you’d understand,

It takes a special kind of person, who opts to make a stand.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d have a ringside seat to life,

It is not always full of sugar and roses, often there is strife.

 

If you could see what I have seen, the holidays aren’t always merry,

We labor day in and day out, always to protect your family.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d understand the cost,

That consumes a loving mother, when her 2 year old is lost.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d understand their pain,

When you tell his parents in the middle of the night that his death was not in vain.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d understand the grief,

The entire family suffers from what he injects underneath.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d opt to go in,

Because you know that someone is trapped from within.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d know a family’s care,

Reading the last message on her cell phone, knowing she is not there.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d recognize it in her eyes,

When that child speaks, you’re the only one not surprised.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d chase him near and far,

For what he did to that little boy, left a huge emotional scar.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d understand the truth,

The media paints a picture that is erroneous and uncouth.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you might choose other work,

Because you’d feel that this one takes much more than it is worth.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d experience the uncertainty,

While my family waits to hear from me, knowing it’s often dirty.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d help to lead the way,

Hoping to ensure that everyone goes home that day.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d know there are miracles all around,

And realize your daily sacrifice, helps communities abound.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d understand his will,

When a 9 year old loses his father, the impact is forever still.

 

If you could see what I have seen, the stories are all true,

But the scars are not always visible, not even to you.

 

If you could see what I have seen, you’d understand what I do,

It’s not in vain, the reason is simple; I do it all for you.


Dedicated to the modern-day guardians dressed in blue.

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