Fight the Cage and Free the Fight

the eye of the fighter

Rough and ready was I
Snarling and vicious like puppies are
Imagining ourselves the dogs of war

So green, so new, so wet behind the ears
I lied about myself to pass

They brought me in and brought me up
Beaten down and pulled apart
Broken down and built back up

They asked if I was ready
I lied about myself to pass

Fighter! The fray rose up
And I jumped right in
Neck deep in a trench filled with poison

I panicked and gasped and cried, terrified
Why did I lie about myself to pass?

Captured in the first fight
Dragged, bound and gagged to a deep dark secret hole
Beaten down and caged within

I knew no hope, only the dark
Why did I lie?

Prisoner. The echoes of the fight grew distant, faded out
The dogs of war laid low
Sure to be forgotten in time

Cruel was my captor…my captor—myself
And I lied to myself to pass the time

25 years in that hole
Behind enemy lines
Because no one knew where to look

I had lied, and fooled them all
I knew I’d pass…alone in the cage, in the hole

Shadow. I felt myself fading…
Something stirred in the dark, something angry came unhinged
Something fierce pressed itself against the cage

I asked the dark fierce thing its name
The Truth. Ferocious, unforgotten, unfooled

Sleek and magnificent and horrible was she
Violently, snarling and vicious like wolves can be
Her rage was unimaginable

I could not speak, there were no lies left to tell
Stunned, I was tossed out into the light

And the light of the Truth at first was blinding
But the sounds of the fight in the distance grew loud
And my captor was coming for me

She stared at me, raw with fury, vibrating with Love
There were no lies in her light, only furious love

She licked her teeth, and turned away
So swiftly she was nearly out of sight, running
Straight to the fight

Free now, and alone again, I panicked, gasped and cried
I heard my captor approach…remembered all the times I lied

On my knees… dumbfounded, I froze
I knew not what to do
And then I heard her distant call, howling from the unseen fray:

Fighter! Get up and FIGHT!!
Wait not for Death… for She will find you wherever you go

But Life, and Light, and Truth, and Love are in the fight
…and they will not wait

Tara L. Bockman


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