“Deserving”

last night I dreamt I lived in an apartment
and a roommate I did not know caught a bird
some poor creature that had found its way inside
to a place it clearly did not belong
he struggled with the bird as I came to consciousness
just in time to help him restrain it
as he left to retrieve some item, or something
I do not know what
my hands held the bird down
preventing it from flight
all at once I realized that I
was using too much force
my thumb placed behind its head
to prevent biting
it tried to turn to look at me
fear filled those big brown eyes
and it became a monkey
no larger than my arm, from elbow to wrist
my grip softened with realization
an ounce of pressure and I would end its life
this poor, confused beast quivered beneath my grasp
to it, I was a god
but what type of god would I be
I held it there, gently now
though unsure of my role
until I saw myself reflected in those brown eyes
I was feared, and hated myself for it
releasing him completely, I hoped for some sign
of affection, of gratitude
but he skittered away and soiled himself repeatedly
mercy was not enough to deserve trust
and I understood in an instant
that what I wanted was not what I deserved
and I resolved to be content with what I had
a knock at my door, a short, stout Hispanic lady
the owner of the monkey
he chittered happily and ran into her fleshy arms
his fur was matted with his own excrement
she looked at me accusingly, but said nothing,
so I closed the door and shed a tear
not for the loss of my newfound acquaintance
but at the sight of what I have become
I may have been a monster
and I may well be again
but not without acceptance, not without accountability
not without happiness in my chosen lot
because my actions determine my environment
because I choose my own path
and because I have already been given far more
than what I deserve

© M. Black, 2017 All rights reserved.

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