"Contain yourself," the elders taught,
and you obeyed, kept in your cage,
imprisoning your joys and rage,

careful never to be caught
delighting in the sights and stars
behind those self-inflicted bars

- until the hours you heard them howl
raving unrestrained till morn,
those hypocrites who loved to scorn

so daunting with a haunting scowl.
Now, as you learn to curb your fear
and inhibitions disappear,

you know the difference: to refrain
from letting others trap your pain,
while hope's the thing you do retain,

where hate's the place you must abstain
from, through their efforts to detain,
as you master your domain.

Hold © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image prompt (person in cage watching fireworks) - challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729289-Write-whatever-this-inspires
Submitted: July 18, 2019

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