The Wire of Confinement
Stolen from my canopy home
I live behind wire and human stares
in solitary confinement.
Cameras snap while hands reach to steal dignity
with demands I not be the wild animal I am,
but a tamed pet to assuage curiosity.
I am prodded to howl, but ears are deaf
to the rumble of my plea to return
where blue sky winks through a green umbrella.
Like every prisoner I dream of escape,
to flee from this alien sand burning beneath my cage
and find the breadfruit tree where I can climb to peace.
©Susie Clevenger 2013
At Real Toads Hannah has prompted us to visit the rainforest to find one of the creatures living there and give it a voice. Transforming Friday
I have actually been to rainforests in Panama and in Costa Rica. It is a breathtaking experience. The photo of the Howler monkey is actually one of my own. I took it at a private island in Belize. The poor thing was locked in a small cage with a wooden latch. Three teenage boys decided to set it free and it raced across the hot sand to a tree. I was taking pictures of the tree when I spotted it. The boys were on the other side of the tree pestering it and it jumped from the tree to my shoulder to eventually slide down to my left ankle. My husband, Charlie, came across the sand yelling for me to get the monkey off. I just gently shook my leg and that is when I received a bite from the Howler. In the whole sequence of events the monkey was never in attack mode. I believe it jumped on me for security because its handler was female. It was like a frightened cat so when I shook my leg it reacted by biting to try and prevent me from making it face those three boys.
Because of the bite I received it turned into an international incident. The bite wasn't bad, but I had it treated by first aide on the island, later on the cruise ship I was traveling on and when I returned home I had to talk to Houston's CDC which directed me to a Dr. of Zoology. He asked me a series of questions about whether it had a tail for climbing, etc. He said that if it had been one without a tail there would be cause to worry, but since it didn't and I had been assured it had received its vaccinations; all should be fine. I had the number of the island in Belize and he told me he would call it. If I didn't hear from him then everything would be alright. So as you can see I am here writing poetry with nothing but compassion for an animal who just wanted to be free.