They cluster in 4s and 5s
decorated in fluorescent yellow,
truncheons dangling at their sides.
Hopping from foot to foot
they scan crowds, stopping
dreadlocks and patchwork coats
to search bags, empty pockets
look suspectingly at sets of keys
and full canteens as dangerous weapons.
My nose ring mustn’t be big enough,
my curled hair not the matted mess
they’d expect from a protesting terrorist
so they look past me to stop pink hair,
no passing thoughts that my bulging bag
may be filled with bombs and gasoline.