I was trapped in mist-nets set by birders

Applying bands to unsuspecting targets,

Soft spheres of fluff and feathers,

My beak opened wide, terror in my eyes.

I was entombed in amber

Bright yellow crystal catching the light

To reveal my delicate wings and legs

Crushed, deformed by heat and pressure.

I was ensnared by jellyfish tentacles,

Streaming glossy ribbons in the sea.

Burning, stinging skin singed and raw 

Screaming for liberation. 

I was imprisoned by quicksand

Pale and bland, glistening wet, like silk on skin,

Beckoning me to take another step

Down and deeper it sucked my legs and lungs.

I was gored by the bull in the matador’s ring.

Neck muscles rippling under curly, wooly hair,

Powerful horns stabbed and pierced my soul

Dark red with warm blood.

I was snapped in the jaws of a vicious trap,

A shiny steel jewel in a meadow of purple flowers

Where I hunted mice.

In excruciating pain, I gnawed off my foot to freedom.

I was ambushed by a spider

Orb web shimmering in the sun

Poison fangs pierced, venom flowed

Nerves and organs died.

I was stalked by a tiger

Dark and golden fur on soft paws

Melting into grasses of camouflage.

A mouth of saber teeth tore apart my skull.

I was ghosted by him

The pretty words, the mesmerizing promises

Came as presents to my heart 

Now beating with a new hollow sound.

I was fooled by the musical blue eyes

Brimming with emotion

And warm hugs, seeming to be true.

But then, too busy, he shredded the very fabric of my core.

Linda Lundgren