No Way Home

Paula Sophia
3 min readJun 24, 2020


A rookie’s badge doesn’t need to be cleaned

Unblighted, Unblemished

Shiny and bright

It can withstand the light of scrutiny

A rookie still believes in

The oath of integrity

A rookie still represents fairness and equality

A knight for the Lady of Justice

The one who never fails to balance the scales

A rookie stands tall, unafraid of it all

Danger, lies and corruption

Are only disruptions on the path to truth

Dreaming to be a hero someday when he’ll say

I was just doing my duty

What a thing of beauty

So precious, so rare

A cop who really cares…

But a rookie can’t stay a rookie all his life

Instead, he strives to be like the “other guys”

He can’t wait to shed his sheen of green

And be seen as one mean motor-scooter

A hard-bitten veteran of the street

Meting out justice… Yes!

But, sometimes the might of right

Just might confuse a rookie

Cause him to see the need for recompense

Entice him to use violence

To dispense his own sense of the law

He doesn’t want to rely on a trial

He wants to confront the devil

Face to face and shoot him


But the devil doesn’t meet you on the level

Eye to eye

No, he just says, hi

Meets you by and by on the sly

In the guise of those “other guys”

The devil works undercover

Withholding the fruit of forbidden knowledge

Enticing the rookie to stay in the gray

Away from the black and white

Into the shadows where wrong and right aren’t so obvious

In the dim light a rookie loses sight of his

Oath of Integrity

Decides the law is nothing

But a distraction restricting his actions

He resents the bad guys

Who think they’re so wise

Envies how they improvise

They make him feel like a fool

So, why not bend the rules?

A rookie can make detective with

An elective approach to the law

All he has to forget is the mission to search for truth

Sell his soul for a conviction

It doesn’t matter who

He doesn’t have to think twice

Somebody has to pay the price

And none would be the wiser

He could make supervisor

If he yields to his ego

Polishes his badge with compromise

And tell a few lies

Hell, it’s easy to cheat

When justice becomes a balance sheet

Eventually, when he takes that ride

He slides down that slippery slope

Behind the cool blue wall of silence

A hard-bitten veteran of the street

Meets the devil every day

He’s not the cop to stop

If you’re in trouble and need a helping hand

Because all he sees is paperwork

Service is only a word

Protection only a projection of his self-interest

He wants to retire before he expires on the street

Responding to some senseless fight

The same one night after night

No end in sight

Yeah, he’s more than a bit jaded

His badge? More than a bit faded

Gold turned to brass a long time ago

Silver turned to chrome

This veteran doesn’t want to be a hero anymore

He just wants to go home



Paula Sophia

Social Worker, Teacher, Writer, Retired Cop, Veteran, Author of Shadowboxer, Dirty Laundry, and Hystericus