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  • As I made my way
    through early morning airports
    herded, bleary eyed and numb,
    along official channels
    scanned and patted down.

    As I paced halls of gleaming glass and chrome
    soaring columns, vaulted high,
    footsteps, a constant pattern of lonely echoes,
    intent on keeping schedules
    making connections
    harried eyes restless sweep
    seeking, seeking never meeting
    all a passing by and passing through.

    As I passed though clustered last chance shoppers
    free of duty and good sense
    lured by perfumed promised bargains
    spending both sides of life’s equation
    then, glazed eyed
    cloaked in grim abandon
    clutching the modern yellow travellers’ badge
    out they go
    from plane to port to room to room
    never exposed to wind or rain or chance

    But, Duty Free!

    All the time I heard you ask,

    Are we sheep? Blindly following rule and expectation,
    glued all back to front.
    Waiting, wordless, mindless:
    For a turn to come.
    For our number to be called.
    Lock step, look down, shuffle on.
    Is that the life we want?

    I had no answer then,
    caught between respect for rule of law
    and independence's call
    No better answer now.
    But, when I turned,
    I walked on again,
    loose of stride
    wary tall and easy straight
    all without trying.
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