You Are Free

You Are Free

Angela K. Mack © 10/04

Baby elephant,
your feet have been chained.
From the moment you could stand,
you have been trained.
At first the ka-ching clang jingle
made you hostile.
Your natural instinct screamed.
A circus performer,
you were not meant to be.

Baby elephant,
you thrashed and you threw.
You cried out in anger,
“Paleese, Paleese, Paleese!”
Then, one day, resigned.
With your head hung in shame,
you consented to be tame.
You no longer complained
about the chain.

Baby elephant,
You were CONDITIONED to see yourself
as tied to the ground.
Low down slowed down LOW.
When you grew
to the size of elephant enormity,
your master unshackled you-
yet you did not realize you were free.

What’s this?
Free in body?  Captive in mind?
Look down elephant!
Open your eyes!
Can’t you see?
Has your vision been stolen?
Have you forgotten your destiny?
Oh no!
In your mind you think you are chained!

Baby elephant,
What if I stand up from the grandstand
and shout,
over and over again?
Will you hear?
Will you see?
Your bondage is an illusion…..

You are free!

You are free!

POEM #2:  “You are Free”

I got the idea for this poem when a friend told me how circus elephants used to be trained.  Baby elephants were chained to the ground in order to learn submission.  When they got older, their feet were unshackled by their master.  Yet they were so conditioned to a life of bondage that they didn’t realize that they could freely run away.

This poem is about the plight of the circus elephant on a literal level.  At a deeper level, it is about imprisonment of the mind.  This imprisonment can be looked upon from many different viewpoints.  Bondage and freedom is a universal theme.  My favorite line to say is, “What’s this?”  because it breaks the rhythm of the poem and it transitions into a frantic state of discovery, awareness, and revelation.  It begins the questioning.  Questioning is a good first step to freedom.

Award-winning poem

matc literary and arts magazine

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