I too liked the comparison and the emphasis on enjoying freedom when that opportunity comes. A relatable piece to others when thinking how we all can endure so much, smile on the outside yet still feel a loneliness or emptiness. But focusing on what's ahead, not dwelling on the current or past, will spring us forward to something new. Congrats on the win!
Honestly...I loved this poem! The whole concept of the jack in the box taking on a life of his own really appealed to me. I remember taking my grandson to a second hand toy shop and he just loved the 'box with the funny clown who jumped out'...he would clap his little hands,push Jack back in and do it all over again.
I know you are comparing it to how your life is and I get that too but...the little kid inside me sees the sadness of poor Jack now tossed aside as my grandson's probably is now but...I appreciate the memories you have stirred up for me. Congrats on your win, very well deserved :)