Cultivating the Soul

Behind an electric fence, the over-protected soul
plays sullenly in its yard, sits often
gazing out, planning escape,

envisioning freedom.

And what of wild souls roaming
wood and vale, victims to the hunter's trap
who covet what they wear

and violently remove it

or the wary soul, like frightened deer
who stoop to drink the river
with every muscle trembling

incapacitated by their fear?

What would we learn if each of them
told the truth about their lives?

I am not liberated, I am not
the history of suppression; I am
exactly where and what I'm meant to be,

the horse who waits patiently
for the open field, the saddle and whip
draped across the fence like

a patient teacher, the rider's knees
pressed firmly against the chest,
puts the animal through its paces, the crop

resting on its flank
ready to strike.

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