Clement Moore revisited — with apologies

December 25, 2009|By Peter Hermann | peter.hermann@baltsun.com

The fine Baltimoreans were snug in their beds

While visions of crime danced in their heads.

Out on the streets, cops got bad guys with guns

Shouting, "Crime is down," the fight's being won.

Fewer people were shot; good news for all

But still many died, casting a pall.

So while stats now show we're safer by day,

People still fear they'll be blown away.

From the touristy harbor to Hotel Belvedere

Thugs armed with guns shot it out without fear.

Police padlocked clubs and swarmed downtown with blue.

The commish rushed to the harbor and said fears were not true.

But a young nanny from China then was attacked;

Cops failed to report it, a commander got sacked.

Police learned that perception meant more than the stats

In a city beleaguered by crime and by crack

Response times are suffering, the beat cops oft hissed.

But they still found the time to help a state pol get hitched.

From the air! From the sea! Cops boarded a boat;

The girl got a ring, not cuffs, Jon Cardin did gloat

But the delegate's moment turned into a bust

When people complained he broke public trust.

His fun stunt with cops is now marred in shame

And a cop might get fired for playing his game.

But Cardin's not alone in shaming the city:

Our very own mayor took gifts from the needy.

The city already known to be seedy

Now has a rep both violent and sleazy.

Baltimore crime gained fans in Britain

Where with "The Wire" the folks are quite smitten.

They sent a reporter to compare real life to TV;

Dissed by the mayor, he had plenty to see.

Drunken thugs in Mobtown went on such a tear

They ripped Ripken's "8" from its stadium lair.

Top Cop Bealefeld scolded in verse -

"Morons," he cried, in language quite terse.

He ranted on crime in a blunt, folksy style;

Dummies, cretins, fools - his words had bile.

They're cowards, skunks, idiots, jerks; no need to fear.

Said he: "You don't get to act like a fool here."

That didn't stop our folks from behaving badly.

Bealefeld, himself, chased two through an alley.

He busted the gunmen, but the system did fail;

The two pleaded guilty, yet a judge said no jail

Back on the streets young gunmen did walk,

As happens so often when justice does balk.

It's a mantra, of sorts, as we can't shed our crime -

It'll get better, we say, next week, next year, next time.

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