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  • Haylee Caserta


Some would say I lead a charmed life.

Three meals a day.

No fear,

no danger—

the right amount of shade.

Enough attention to rival a celebrity.

They visit me every day,

under scalding sun.

Sometimes the small ones sit in little buggies,

always led by the larger.

They carry balloons of all colors,

wearing globs of thick white war paint

smeared on their noses.

The little ones point and shout at me behind a pane of half-inch glass

specially designed

to keep me inside.

In the event that I finally decide

to use my title of a beast in an attempt to escape.

I watch smiles light the faces

of hundreds like lanterns.

Though all I’ve done was sit and face them.

But they can’t recognize expressions.

They only recognize physical beauty.

Some would say I lead a charmed life

that if I lived outside nobody would love me.

That I’d be lost among my own kind.

But would a charmed life

come in the form of the littlest child

with her nose against the glass,

whining “Mother, why won’t it look at me!”

To which the elder’s reply is laughter.

The daughter exclaims her boredom and the pair walk off,

hand in hand.

Leaving me behind.


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