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Tigers In Cages

by stephanie roberts


Early, we learn a fear of lost—of taken.


Tigers lie in cages stripes for the striped

—redundancies of capture.


Eager and regret pace rapt; cage to cage every

wild face bares the same barred rage.


Teacher makes them buddies to ensure

against lost and lone,


And as two, they are taken with the red panda,

white rhino, black mamba.


Their sticky fingers interlocking origami

prayers against lost


Which they are—away from the class

wide-eyed and wandering.


They'll be found, aging in grace, or wasted

in age, with love managed safely, as iron by iron


They climb the cages made or entered

Where the hope is for a lost that finds self


And (against fear) taken.

stephanie roberts has work that appears or will appear, this year, in The Stockholm Review of Literature, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Shooter Literary Magazine (UK), Room Magazine (Canada), Burning House Press (UK), The Inflectionist Review, After the Pause, Rat's Ass Review, Arsonist Magazine, Waxing & Waning, The Thing Itself, and Nano Text an anthology published by Medusas's Laugh Press. She is also the self-published author of a volume of poetry, The Melting Potential of Fire, and a book of short fiction, As We Are.

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