I had it in my mind that life inside
the lidded basket would be warm and safe;
a life of few distractions, choice less wide –
loose bits of straw to tidy, should they chafe.
He fed me on plump mice, the choicest eggs;
my dress, when it became too tight, replaced.
The music drew me—my vestigial legs
would quiver when his crazy rhythms chased.
He carried me to places where I sensed,
outside my suffocating basket that
the air was spicy, people were unfenced.
Here I’d uncoil like smoke until they clapped.
I danced for them, despite the piper’s frown,
until the darkness when the lid came down.
Jenny Hill, 2018.