I am in my room, alone.

Time is nothing.

The silence and its stillness pleases me.

I can keep this solitude

Without question,

Until the need to end it pleases me.

In his small cage, alone,

Time is nothing.

His silence is within, inside his brain.

He keeps this inward silence

To protect him

From eyes that do not understand his pain.

I keep him in this cage

My primate brother,

I keep him on display for all to see.

I must be sure that he knows

Who is master,

That in my hand, alone, lies freedom’s key.

Virginia McKenna is a Founder/Trustee of the Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity dedicated to protecting wild animals in their natural environment, preventing their suffering in captivity and rescuing them whenever possible. www.bornfree.org.uk