The minnows fled through tin-can tunnels
laid end-to-end by raucous children seeking fun.
They rushed the fish before them down the stream
to gill nets that enclosed them in a trap.
One child caught some silver shadows slipping by
and held them struggling in his hand.
Their gills searched for sustenance.
Their mouths gasped open, open and shut.
Their silver bellies strained against the fist
that held them up in unbreathable air.
But one slipped free and leaped away
and flipped his fins into the stream.
The soul held in another's grasp and starved for freedom's air
confronts the hand that holds him there.
Fear must not keep him captive long
Nor another's thinking cloud his choice.
For souls will gasp for sustenance and ache for breath and space
and ache for breath and space.
Struggle against chains, oh, soul.
Leap into the water that sets you free.