Caged

I was trying to remember the name of this poem the other day. Then I put up the rose picture and remembered. I wrote this in or before 2009.

Caged


She was raised in captivity
Wild one
With her family
They knew the ways
Of the captors
Obedience

The call
Of the wild
Was too strong for her

She strained at the lead
Ears cocked
Hearing
All
And distant calls
Those who were free

She was beaten
Shunned
Thrown in solitary
They told her the rules
Over and over

She fought
Lacerating her captors
And herself

Her family
Wearied
Turned their heads away

Chained
She mourned
Isolated

They didn’t watch her
Closely
Any more

She chewed off her paw
Free

They didn’t notice
She growled
When they came near

They threw the meat
From a distance

Her cubs circled
Behaved
To all appearances

“When, mother?” they whispered

She mourned
As the leg healed
Her gait became stronger

The cubs and she
Ran at night
While others slept

At last she tried once more
Mourned
Howled
Cried to the sky
Grief
Pain
And the call of the wild

The family cringed
Pressed their ears
To stop the noise

She rose
And broke the chain
On the cage
That held them

Howled

They turned away
Cowering
In the familiar

Now she rises
Turns
Trots from the compound
Cubs behind

She sets a steady pace
A loping gallop

They do not look back

Someday
The family may choose
To free themselves

But not now

She follows the voices
To freedom
And the unknown

transplant

A friend bought a house in Portland, Oregon. Last spring he was redoing the yard: all edibles.

“Wait,” I say, “what about the roses? Didn’t you say there are roses?”

“Yes,” he says, “Digging them up. Do you want them?”

“Yes!” I say.

I visit in Portland and drive back with three roses, roots but not much dirt, in a plastic bag. I think two are red. I plant all three in my front yard, with the deer fence. As high is is legal.

And here is the first bloom: an immigrant to Washington, a transplant, another color, a surprise! Lovely!

 

 

safe enough to have a fence and roses

A friend said that he observed me for a long time before we got to know each other a little.

I asked what he observed. He said, “Thoughtful, deliberate and shy.”

I started laughing and said I am not shy. But….that is not true. I am guarded all the time with people. Even with him, still.

So what am I guarding and what is shy?

I have a little girl self that is very very shy. Hidden for a very long time. Now I have felt safe enough that she can play. I see her as playing in a wild place. Sun and a forest and a stream and a field. Sometimes it rains. She plays alone in the sun with rocks by the stream or runs in the field or climbs the trees.

I think many people have a small child hurt and hidden. I think it’s common. I think sometimes it’s so well hidden they can’t even reach it.

At any rate, my small child can’t be reached by any sort of force or intimidation. She could only be reached by gentleness. Another small child with daisies and even then, trust would take a long time. At first she would run away and hide. And I don’t think it will happen and I have given up, but I can still love her and protect her. And she is happy in her wild place, lonely sometimes, but happy.

Every time I see the pink soft romantic roses in my front yard I laugh, because those roses are for that little girl part, shy and romantic. She feels safe enough to have a fence and roses.

the photo is from my front yard and the rose is Betty Boop

Think fresh

For Ronovan writes weekly haiku prompt: the words are think and fresh.

think fresh: oranges, tea
think of lettuce, roses, peas
think boys, fresh words, glee

The photograph is of one of my mother’s watercolors: Helen Burling Ottaway. We have another Mother Daughter Art Show going up for the month of June and July. I am cleaning, framing, pricing and getting ready….