I hate the feeling

Nothing good will get out again

I gave up a lot

Not to live this way

And took on therapy and pills

With the condition, breaking surprise,

That tries to kill me every day

Flood my lungs, press the heart

Into submission

Of a final stillness


For freedom

I once visited

Because I could

And then again a panther

In a gray-steeled cage

It made the only choice

To live, to pace

In sullen majesty


Until finally I saw the jaguar spots

Beneath the black

I knew there was complexity

In what should be

And freely


I could cry now (it’s welling up

from a deep place) from ever having

Known the panther

At the zoo, which sounds

Romantic, yes


It was released, at last,

Into a habitat, an artificial valley

I live on machines

I guess

We each know something


C L Couch



Photo by Mélody P on Unsplash