A lifetime ago, there came a day when
to follow in the steps of my knighted ancestors.
To go forth bravely,
the law to defend and the right to uphold.
To seek evil and to conquer it,
and to return, wearing my shield or upon it.
As a squire, I stood in the
of the valiant knight and learned my lessons well.
The greatest of my peers,
I was certain, would never be fit their armor to bear.
These truly were heroes worthy of story and song,
and though few in number, daily they vanquished the foe.
In the fullness of time, I knelt
before the king
and received my blued sword and shield of gold.
"Arise Sir Knight,"
he said, and arise I did, ready to take my place.
Among the heroes I rode, but apart from them,
rather than a part of them, for I was young.
A knight I was, and good enough for
but still I had to prove my worth to the others.
After many campaigns,
I was welcomed at the feast table of the knights.
I laughed at their tales, but I remembered their battles,
knowing someday their wisdom could save my life.
I learned other lessons, incredible
they seemed to me,
about the people for whom I was ready to hazard all.
Weak they often were,
and incapable of protecting themselves; needful of the
knights, yet prepared to sacrifice us for our humanity.
But we fought on, against all odds, for our cause was just.
Now, having long been a knight,
sometimes I forget
the young squires who still have lessons to learn.
Those of my ilk,
we few who remain, with armor dented and blackened with
smoke of a thousand battles, teach them with our every deed.
Unnoticed, they watch us. I pray we teach them well.
Soon, I will unbuckle my sword, and
will take its place with the others in the
My crusades over,
I will start on another path through life, a mere mortal.
I will watch the knights as they gallop past, into the fray.
I pray God will protect them; they're still my heroes.
John R. Somers
Maryland State Police