‘Well, if you’ve really nothing to hide…’
a blond, bland, reasonable voice
offered us both an illusion of choice
‘And, if you don’t mind, ID cards please.’
The streetlamps behind flickered like tapers:
I heard an echo of ‘Show us your papers!’
‘Routine, you know, come to the station.’
I heard the clanking of railway cars -
the kind without seats - with the wrong kind of bars.
On the desk a paper to sign;
‘We need your jewellery, belts and shoes’:
the ink on the paper like faded tattoos.
There were twenty, in the holding room –
It might have been painted, with windows of glass
I saw without seeing , smelled burning - and gas.
We walked out, free, the following day,
enjoying the smell of the rain-splashed morning:
so lucky to leave: with just a warning.