Trapped in a Cage with a Tiger

I’m trapped in a cage with a tiger.
Its garish mask,
Its terrorizing teeth.
Its eyes that speak deceitful lies.
Its jaw that sees the meat.
The ominous presence that hints at an essence
Of a prey named fear that brings darkness to all incandescent.
A beast that needs to eat.

If only I were free.

I’m trapped in a cage with a tiger.
The ingress to smiles,
The portal to frowns.
The quiet whisper of riot.
The strident shout of peace.
Through the wild sway of 365 days,
With happiness and hardships in a boundless array of ways.
A roar that just won’t cease.

If only I could see.

I’m trapped in a cage with a tiger.
Its gentle touch,
Its loving character.
Its bite that offers quite a fright.
Its snarl that summons my shriek.
Lived through the laughs that shatter and tears that scatter.
The ineludible tragedies that murder what matter.
A dream that wakes the weak.

If only the beast could flee.

I’m trapped in a cage with a tiger.
And in my hand I hold the key.

Artist: Casey Robin

Emma McNamara received a gold medal in the 2017 National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her short story "From Your Lost Eyelash," and several of her opinion pieces have been published in her local newspaper. "Trapped in a Cage with a Tiger" was written her freshman year at Hopkinton High School after losing an English class haiku contest.

Emma is a triplet and her favorite word is "impish."