THE ANIMAL TRAP
For now I must be content to live within the trap--I must make friends with the snake and be grateful that my life has been spared so far. For now I am indeed trapped in this prison within myself-alone to experience the horrow and despair, yet not alone to think of how I am loved, of that I am sure. I have given much, I remember now, and my heart is proud and full with the knowledge that I will not endure this experience alone because of who I am, how I have loved others, and how I am loved in return. Still I can never forget that, even when I leave the trap for good, the snake comes with me and can threaten me with his long teeth, or bite me, or squeeze the life out of me slowly any time he decides to. How can I make friends with such a monster-- but I must--we are now and will always be together.
About my giving, again I remind myself, it is returned to me, as I recall hearing the quiet gasps in my friends' voices to learn the news, as if to say: "Oh no, not you!" Now I see you all standing at the edge of the trap unable to assist my exit. I feel your warm wet teardrops fall on me from above and I too am warmed and heartened by the salted splash of tears which confirm the years and times we've shared. Yet I am sorry to bring you sadness, so sorry this truth comes from my lips, and sorrier still, that your pain is for me, but knowing you are here now induces comfort. Content with this feeling, I sink to the ground, quietly and deliberately curling around the bloody saw-toothed iron that is now my foot. So weary and dazed from the disbelief of my circumstances, I begin to depart and drift off into sweet sleep to avoid the stinging pain of reality. I smile now to know these friends all stand guard at the trap's edge waiting and hoping to help me. I feel the pull of their arms reaching out to me but I must make my own way, and for now there is nothing they can do. My eyes are closed and I give thanks for their presence in my heart and my presence in their hearts. My tears overflowing, I too cry, a soft daunting wounded animal cry, into the silence of my sleep.