“Once” By Tara Davoodi

The majestic beast sighs
As he wakes up, blinking bleary eyes
Looking at his surroundings, caged and alone
Trapped forever in a prison made of stone.
The dark silhouette of desolation glimmers
In the dark hazel eyes of the creature it shimmers
He was once free in the open plains
Now forever cursed, shackled to iron chains.
He once fiercely brandished stinging claws
That would make the enemy halt and pause.
He once would be the first to pierce the flesh of game
After he slays the sprinting gazelle with perfect aim.
He once would listen to the sound of drumming
Hooves against yellow grass, a buffalo herd coming.
He once would shake his glorious mane freely
Listening to the distant chatter in Swahili.
He once would feel the exaltation of the hunt,
But now all he observes is stone bars from the front.
He once would fall asleep against the silky fur of the pride
But now cold stone rocks are what he lies beside.
Once a long a time ago in the great pride lands
A great being roams free, with a troop he commands
Torn from the life he was always meant to live,
They perceived him as violent and combative,
Dragged to a place devoid of kindness and laughter,
His story does not end with happily ever after.

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