The Secret Police
Poem By Ken Smith
They are listening in the wires,
in the walls, under the eaves
in the wings of house martins,
in the ears of old women,
in the mouths of children.
They are listening to this now.
So let's hear it for the secret police,
a much misunderstood minority.
After all, they have their rights,
their own particular ways of seeing things,
saying things, cooking things,
they too have a culture uniquely their own.
And we think
they should have their own state
where they could speak their own
incomprehensible tongues, write
their confessions, their own unknown histories,
cultivate their habits of watching
by watching each other, and fly
their own flags there, at attention
on parade in their medals at their monuments
on their secret anniversaries, making speeches,
singing praises to the God of Paranoia.
And at the end of the day
bury their dead, publish coded obituaries
to each other, and rest at last
in their own kind of peace, forever.