Copyright © Albert Vande Steeg

​August 2008

​Duck Pass

The half inch wide black velvet band that is placed around the Peace Officer's badge symbolizes the grief and pain that grips the heart behind the badge. The Black Band begins at the graveside service of Officer Augustino as he is laid to rest. The sound of the bagpipe drifts over the departing crowd as they drift back to their duties...The Black Band portrays cops at work, catching burglars in the act of committing crimes, discovering evidence of a robbery/homicide during a routine parole check and attempting to clean up prostitution and drug dealing. The reader is brought along to hear and live through the words and emotions of the pastor and eulogy, as they attempt to give answers to the meaning of life and the relief from the stress of being a Peace Officer in a violent and cruel world.

The Sierras are standing tall and sheer
alpine flowers show that summer is near
Snow patches are reminders of winter past
the peaks rise high standing fast.

The glories of the mountain lake
trout rise and make a wake
Reflections of trees and rocks and cloud
peace reigns there is no sound.

A deer is munching on some leaves
of quaking aspen and other trees
The trail is long and steep
Duck Pass is the height we seek

At the top I say a prayer
It is God who brought me there
Standing on this ridge of stone
I am by myself but not alone

The view is great from this lofty height
the lakes below a glorious sight
Crystal clear and azure
for the bustle of life this is a cure

Missing the beauty would be a shame
hiking here is better then wealth or fame
Having the strength to hike and eyes to see
where in the world would I rather be



What inspired the author to write such a deep poem?

Check back here later for an answer in a little while. 

Behind the Words