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Contributor: J.K. Durick

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In a line like this we feel a familiar tug
A place we know, learned it early on
In school, move slowly, a shuffle step
In keeping with this time and place,
Obedient to a fault we move forward
Passport and boarding pass in hand
We wait our turn, empty our pockets
Into a plastic bucket, surrender our shoes
And belt willingly, watch it all disappear
Into a machine, like the machine we enter
Stand this way, turn that way, the machines
Get to know us, the privacy we carry goes
On display, the workers observe and discuss
There are no secrets, they get to know
Our hidden selves, the weapons we carry
The explosives we’re hiding, a pack of gum
A set of keys, a half empty pill bottle, a comb
A nail clipper, the evidence mounts up and
We cringe, our guilt, our innocence pause
Await the verdict; they gesture to move on
Or pull us aside, and we accept the judgment
Step aside with them or grab our belongings
Hurry our shoes back on; safe, secure, unmasked
We continue on as if nothing has happened.

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J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Eskimo Pie, Black Mirror, Poetry Pacific, Eye on life Magazine, and Leaves of Ink.


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