arrested

in the mid 90s
I had a garret room
the landlord was away
London
IT
a summer hot spell
he asked me to water
his grass plants

before dawn
loud banging
at the door
three stories below

coppers in tracksuits
demanded to be let in
there was more of them
round the back
climbing over garages
looking purposeful

I was loaded into a van
along with a dozen plants
me and a bored policeman
took in the aroma
until the rest of them
were satisfied
that there was in fact
no drugs factory
their tip-off
was false

they took me to the cells
removed laces
belt
and left me alone
around 5am

not so different
from zen retreat
thought I
and cobbled together
a meditation cushion

I assumed the position

size 16 footsteps
along the corridor
a slot slid open
a pen clicked
something ticked
a slot slid back

footsteps louder
the cell next to mine
a slot slid open
a pen clicked
something ticked
a slot slid back

footsteps louder still
my cell
a slot slid open
“oh!”
a slot slid back
footsteps hurried away

muffled conversation
then returning
two pairs of feet
a slot slid open
more muffled conversation
some surprise
some laughter
a slot slid back

they were incredibly
apologetic
when they eventually
let me go
“It’s not exactly
the great train robbery”
they said
dissappointed
as they handed me
my stuff

Eastcott