Under Glass

I can see where I want to be—
it’s right in front of me,
tantalizingly close.

And yet, somehow,
I cannot get there.

This has never happened
to me before.

How it came to be
that I found myself
in this predicament
I haven’t the slightest clue,
though it appears, by the
lifeless creatures lined up
beneath me, that I am not
the first nor the last
to be facing the ultimate
high-stakes puzzle
of being stuck
behind this window.

Either I figure it out
reasonably soon, or I end up
like those poor crispy souls
down in the sill.

Meanwhile,
through this transparent pane,
an ironically lovely view
of the world to which I once
belonged, and so wish to return.
I’ll be honest and say it is
unclear to me whether I will.

From this vantage point,
I am safe from hungry birds,
but also unavailable to all
the potential suitors flying by,
unaware in their passing
flirtations that I am not
sitting atop the glass, but trapped
beneath it. Dodged bullets,
missed opportunities.

It is an ordinary window
meant to keep our sorts
out of “their” abode,
and yet I am trapped within it
against my will, unable to eat
or breed or jump or fly,
all of these possibilities
within easy view, as is
the continuance of life itself,
but for this intractable pane
that locks me in and keeps
me out at the same time.

Claire Juno, © 2014

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