COP 88

By Gillian Allison

The first act of rebellion
Against extended Education
To sign up for a uniform.

My family.
Not criminals, not outlaws, just decent distanced folk
Doors slammed on my possibilities.

Police HQ
Ugly concrete squat of blank windows
Ordered in rows
Walking into the lions den
Through long corridors
To its heart
Fear fluttering inside.

Change. Challenge.
Do something that scares you.
Every day
I did.
Cop 88.

The second Rebellion
Slow change within the barriers
At the heart of the establishment
Uniform carrier
Shift mate
One of us, not them.
No guns
No battering rams
Opening doors
Project calm
Crisis control
Damage limitation
Connection the only weapon.

Held arms, shoulders, hands
Wrestled and cuffed
Carried, restrained and comforted,
All armed with police powers,
mere words.

Them and us
One at a time.
A uniformed changeling.
Shifting perspective.
The broken, dying, ruined
Change whispered through from within.

The final Rebellion
To walk away.
Untrapped after all.
A decade on
Battle worn
Not immune to the ugliness.

To leave long corridors,
Secure stations,
Protected heart
Trusted with the codes.
Doors opened
For those changelings yet to follow.

defiance, personal rebellion, community