Prisoner

On the inside,
in the dark cell,
long held
mixed up
messed up
jumbled up
thoughts
metamorphose;
rearrange
in the brain;
clarify
and entertain:
freedom
new paths
changed ways
brain over heart.

On the outside,
through heavy gates,
her lover waits
for the instant
she’s released
so he can
capture
the emerging
butterfly
and pull off her wings.

20 thoughts on “Prisoner

    1. Thanks Mark – I wouldn’t have thought of that re. Short and Twisted but maybe – it’s funny when you write the poem the logic is so clear in your head, that I hadn’t seen it as a twist at the end, but there it is.

    1. Both I suppose Benedicte – the metamorphosis into a butterfly is the underlying metaphor but the words can be read in different ways to mean different things, hence the levels (usually levels are subjective and superimposed by other people’s meaning – not what I meant originally – but sometimes I will reread my poems and a whole separate meaning emerges in parallel with the original lines – and that is really weird and wonderful – haha – thanks Ben :)).

      1. Thanks Gabe.
        We always bring our lives in what we see or hear I suppose.
        In your poem, I saw an artist struggling as every one in day to day life and having art to escape. The pull off wings is specially strong as some artists are saved by art and others destroyed.

        1. Very interesting interpretation Ben but not one that I intended (though that is irrelevant – it is the readers interpretation that is the most important) – this poem is about a female prisoner and about how it is sometimes the men in their lives who are really keeping them imprisoned (both physically and mentally in a disadvantaged position) – he knows if she improves her lot than he has lost her, so better to keep close tabs on her (which she might interpret as love, but of course it is more along the lines of possession).

    1. Thanks bb – I struggled over the use of the word ‘brain’ as it happens – as we usually say ‘mind over heart’ for some reason – the heart has a way of winning out way to many times, I think.

  1. I know someone like this. This poem actually made me gasp because it is about my sister. She was in a rehab facility for 3 months and returned to her own true self but as soon as she got out her husband ( I call him He Who Shall Not Be Named) pulled her wings right off. Right off. I was slipping and sliding in the blood (metaphorically, of course) and my heart broke all over again. Very powerful writing, Gabe.

    1. Ha! Selma – that is really amazing, because in the back of my head the poem was also about addiction and the family relationships that maintain the ‘system’ – often the spouse (even if sober) does not really want the drinker/user to change because their behaviours are functional for the system (in reality dysfunctional but for the people they do serve some real purpose – just as the drinking or drug use serves a real purpose for the user) and when a drinker/user tries to change and become sober, there is often resistance from the very people that love them and say they want them to change. Sometimes the only way to change is to get away from the ‘system’ – in other words get the heck out of that relationship. I am sorry for what has happened to your sister – it is a hard situation all round.

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