The kestrel is tethered,
unable to fly.
She eyes the man
who controls her
trying to make up her mind
if it's love or something else
that holds her in check.
He treats her well.
He talks to her as if
they speak the same language.
She senses he may even
be confiding secrets.
Maybe he is,
maybe he isn't;
she only knows
the sound of his voice
can comfort her,
and she senses
his change of moods.
He gives her everything,
except what she wants most.
Freedom
to hunt or find a mate
as nature intended.
Freedom
to soar above the world
whenever she chooses,
instead of at his whim,
to ascend into the vast blue sky,
to spiral and dive,
only to surge up again
and again.
The kestrel digs her talons
into the gloved hand,
waiting for her chance to fly.

Elise Skidmore ©2020

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