The Long Arm Of The Law
Wherever there are rules,
which is to say everywhere,
gradations of warnings and penalties
lead to a certain point
when the arm of force comes down
like a mechanical thing —
like one of those boxing gloves
shooting out from a metal grid.
A boy in the preschool play yard
who refuses to put on his shoes
when the Barefoot Flag's not up
is the same as a guy on the street
who refuses to move on
when the cops say move.
Polite admonishments come first,
then more serious ones,
an ultimatum and finally
The arm of the law
carries out impersonal orders.
It's an arm not connected to a heart.