Caged Eagle

I once flew above treetops through endless sky

But in this small wire cage I can’t even fly

My claws used to catch prey on the forest floor

But now I cannot hunt like I did before

I can barely take three steps with this chain on my feet

And then there’s the racket of roars, hoots, and bleats

The other animals too are enclosed in small pens

Much smaller than their natural forests, caves or dens

I stare contemptuously at the ogling eyes outside

Who look at me, shrug, and then pass me by

Sometimes the zookeeper puts me on his arm

He makes sure to tie the rope tight so I won’t cause anyone harm

“The majestic eagle!” he says in a booming voice

I sit quietly there since I have no other choice

I ruffle my feathers, and he feeds me a rat

The crowd watches and claps, the zookeeper bows and takes off his hat

He invites the fat, grubby fingered children to touch my wings

They pose with me for their parents, blinding me with bright flashy things

Then the show’s over, and I’m in my cage once more

Another mouse is shoved down my throat as the zookeeper locks the door

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