Tipping the Cage



“The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.”
― Maya Angelou


As a child

I was told many stories

designed for me

to hear and heed

some were supposedly true

some were supposedly fiction

but which was which

I’ll never know

there was a king who kept a bird in a cage

for he loved the bird

and its sweet song pleasured the ears of his heart


the bird longed to be free

and its song grew faint

slowly dying away in captivity

there was a woman who loved to sing

her dream was

to stand on a stage and pleasure the ears of the hearts of many

but she got married

and her dream did not get carried over the threshold

like the bird she felt caged


unlike the bird

her song became shrill

until it chilled all those who heard it

rattling the bars

causing the cage to tip

giving this woman

a chance to fly free


“But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.”
― Maya Angelou