This is how it is:
The bait of financial security dangling just beyond our reach,
then jerked away in fisherman’s haste.
Swim toward it and lunge —
(You’d think we wanted to be caught and hauled into a boat with two lifejacketed fishermen who are wasting the early morning quiet)
— to lie there and flop the rest of our lives —
(Which would be short enough in this situation, being so much out of our element.)
— yes, we lunge for that bait.
The easy-money guarantees.
And the fear lurking just below our minimum balance.
And we’re caught, and we flop, but not for long.
Hooked by the gills, we’re hauled toward some future
at the end of a monofilament fishin’ line.
And as we go, we can’t help but notice former “school” friends,
nearby fins flashing in the low surface sunlight.
Flicking their tail fins — they are free, on a new course.
That is grace.
That is freedom.
Graceful and free.
Their corporate path like slicing the air with a saber.
We’re tugged onward, barely fighting.
Even a mighty convulsion of the muscles,
that would previously have caused a change of direction,
(even if we were swimming upstream),
Has little effect on this short, straight path.
Once we have been hoisted out of the water
(no safety nets here, just mesh to entrap us)
We flop for awhile.
But not for long.
Surely we can do better than dream, as we gasp for air,
As we gasp for a freedom once so naturally ours