i know the community well,
she claimed over the phone,
as if to lecture me when i
expressed fears
about a place that’s lost
its own soul to gangs
and drugs and violence.

oh, i felt it a long time ago,
from the good people with whom
i made personal connections.
i felt it.
but it slowly disappeared.

and now that i’m gone
you want to pull me back
with threats?
where were you when
i had the guts to do your job?
where were you when my
kid needed you?

every time i tried
to get help you turned me
(and her) away.

you sent her back
onto the streets
to potentially
become the kind
of person you expect me
to help you save yourselves from.
you call that community?

the only one
who ever gave
two shits
was the bravest cop
in the valley.

no one else really cared.
you turned us away from
medical care,
your so-called crisis responders
turned blind eyes,
hospitals ignored state laws,
witness protection is a joke,
even the governor’s office
said too bad, so sad,

go ahead, check the history:
the crisis-line call center,
the governor’s office,

communication records
will show how hard i tried,
how much i screamed for help
to my wits end.
it’s not always true
about the squeaky wheel.

no one came to my aid except
for one good cop and
your idiotic bureaucracy.
you sent me in circles,
chasing my own tail
while you ignored
every plea i made.

(and don’t even get me started
about the corruption
in the school district.)

so i took what i loved and
we left.

fuck your community.
you don’t even know
what community is.
you lost it years ago.
so go ahead,
send your subpoenas,
write your warrants,
put me in jail.

but don’t lecture me
about community.

Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.