JT (June 4th,1961...Gemini / Bronx, New York)

Institutionalized.....For Me, The Last Line Defines The Poem

I am like a too distant cousin
thrice removed from any semblance
of an adopted family.
My identity, fishwrapped in a shattered
mirror, is a dismembered visage I see,
among shards of splintered glass.

Like a disfigured face in a funhouse,
or an unfinished, pockmarked puzzle
in a mental ward,
Where half your day is spent lining up
and the other half lying down.
Take a tiger from the wild,

Bolt it away in a cage.
Declaw its paws, pull its teeth;
And neutered of it's nature,
its instinct to kill for its meat.
It will, instead, feed on schedule.
A whip in the hand will leave it meek;

And an unlocked gate will kep it caged.


John Tansey '04

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Comments (1)

'and an unlocked gate will keep it caged' when i read that i think of people the are institutionalised. i think of the way people get so used to the life that they have that they don't even bother to make any changes, they can't rationalise or adapt to a different scenario... so they long for what they have and keep living the life they've always known. i don't know if thats what you meant, but that's what i got from reading your poem. i enjoyed it though...