Every Broken Thing

The Long Arm
The Poetry Of Lance McKnight


The Long Arm


                        “The Force,” he termed it. Implied the way
                        words are left by crushing fibre
                        with ink. Yes. The Force.
                        Poets as cops, enforcing verse,

                        a newform constitution unwilling
                        to bear bad word. If the crime fits,
                        write it. Swift to definition,
                        hard to capture, shedding words
                        like gun at day’s end. As each cell is

                        penetrated, you, too, are

                        betrayed. The same as that cop
                        standing over broken child,
                        unable to explain. We all digress.

                        And one day, waiting for that final call,
                        we’ll ease back, regret our profession,
                        realize there’s no other way.
                        And not even the names will be changed.

                                                                            for Ed Dorn