Pinned to the splintery post
supporting the screen on the porch,
it hung like a transparent ornament,
dejected, apathetic, yet straining
to be released from its imprisonment.

It was an accumulation of many things-
cat hairs, fibers, fluff, dirt, grime-
that had formed into a circular mass
of weightlessness, only to be entangled
in the splinters of the rough porch post.

This dust ball had no soul, no spirit.
It was an object formed to float freely
with no gravitational pull to force it
into submission. Yet, here it was
entangled in the splintery post.

Suddenly, a gust of wind pushed
through the screens, swirling within the porch,
fluttering the leaves of the potted fern,
whipping the grill’s cover, and then,
finding the shackled dust ball, set it free

It soared! It danced! The wind filled
it with buoyancy, giving it life,
letting it dance wildly across the floor.
Oh, how it rolled and twisted, vibrating
with the joy of being liberated from its shackles.

For a moment it lived. For a moment
it soared with the joy of freedom, knowing
no bounds. Then the wind died!
It fell to the floor exhausted and listless,
only to be impaled again to the post.

(Won Second Place in Category 16 in NFSPS 2012 poetry contest)