Poor little Keystone Cop
(although often not so funny)
Leaping from shoulder to shoulder
trying so hard to keep us safe
yelling or whispering in each ear
the old rules based on fear

Telling us what we should have done
and what we should never do
Enforcing rules learned long ago
that may no longer be true

The voice of your mother, still
nags when your room’s not neat
The voice of your father
still wants you up at dawn

Your teacher and your coach
Your country and your culture
Your parents and your younger selves
with messages to keep you safe

The cop only knows what he used to know
and still does what he was told to do
You don’t have to destroy him
or shove him out the door

Just put your arm around him
and tell him you’re no longer four