Invitation to the Dance
by Alta Brown

You talk about freedom
as you stare
at me
through your prison bars.

Oh, you can
sail your boat,
take a flight,
drive your car
up to the mountains, but
you take your prison
with you.

Are you so afraid
to invite me in?
Isn't it a little dark,
a little stuffy,
a little lonely
in there?
Are you really safe
behind the bars?
You bluster
and tell me
you are prepared
to die.
Do you think
your prison door
will fly open
with your last breath?
Or will you
find yourself
in an even smaller
darker and more constricted,
where wilder things
breathe into your ear?

Why don't you
come out
and play with me?
The air is clear,
the sun is bright,
and everything
is so beautiful.