The clothes are heavy
ECW clothing must be worn on embarkation
ECW: Extreme Cold Weather.
Identification is presented
admission granted to departure hall
“ Place all baggage in front of the line.
Stand in line, behind the line ”
the tone says : you’re part of the military now.
“ Any contraband may be placed in the amnesty box”
I wonder : has marijuana ever last chanced the box?
“ Do not interact with the dog”
interact : military speak for pat.
“Proceed to the bus”
an 800m drive to the tarmac
it is forbidden to walk.
Hurry up and wait
a hundred people are penned – literally.
Waist high wire barricades form quarantine.
newby’s find one another and huddle
old stagers mull together murmuring nonchalance.
A confident hand is thrust forward
“ Steven……….your first time?”
I ask the reflexive question
Conversation scrambles for loose change of trivia
it doesn’t matter
he has gone.
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