All day the bear paces her enclosure.
A path has been worn around its perimeter.
She starts from the entrance to her home,
tracing her own tracks from the day before,
from years before.
People stand and admire her, trying to imagine
her power, wondering what it would
be like to be the unfortunate "slow human"
who was brought down by her giant paw.
It was the same at every exhibit I visited;
the only islands of peace were contained within
the animals' enclosures while outside, a teeming mass
of humans strolled from one display to the next.
But every animal wanted out, every animal was looking
toward some horizon, even if it was just an internal
longing expressed by generations of genetic instinct.
They wanted past the humans, to get back to their wildness,
to the places without the cages.