When I fell face first and bleeding within
from amphetamines at prep school,
all the school did was counsel me
and send me home for a week or so
on medical leave. That and my family’s begging
kept me on the college track.
When my buddies at the summer party
dragged the cop out of his car
and began beating him with stones picked up
from the gravel pit, I was asleep,
drunk in my car, and missed the whole thing.
That and my family name kept me out of jail and the papers.
When I got caught smoking weed
in the Student Union building,
all the cop did was take
my bag and pipe and toss me out
and tell me to go home to the dorm. That
and the decade’s weariness with such crimes
kept me off the court docket.
When I told a cop off for an unjustified stop,
and he let me drive away.
When I tossed the barroom groper into the street
with a broken nose where he hit the sidewalk,
and a cop finished what I’d started
with a laugh.
When I realize how much I’ve gotten away with
and still get away with
compared to some, I am ashamed,
but not enough to do anything
but write this
and swear I’ll do something about it
eventually. That and my kind face
ought to be enough
to protect me. To absolve me.