Cages

on

I did not wring its neck, but

The blue budgie died by my hand

When I opened the gate of the cage, 

Where it stayed on the balcony. 

A crow pounced on it all at once

Ripped it to shreds while I cried 

Struck with horror. I was a toddler

But I already hated the  cage.  

I hated the zoo too. Specially the tigers

Stuck in cells with barely space to pace

And humans jeering them along,

Their lives open to scrutiny, dependant

And confined. Animals belong in the wild.

Just as flowers belong on trees. When 

I told my father, he smiled and ruffled my hair,

“But cages have their uses too”.  

I’ve been trying to list the uses

For the caged birds gazing to the trees

For the flowers drying on the altar 

For the animals wailing to be freed. 

And I have failed. But then I looked 

Around me, heard the rattling 

Of the chains, and I thought, aren’t we all 

Living in cages, made by society? 

I did not want to kill that budgie

I only wished to set it free

But how many of us are not in chains? 

Some cages you cannot see. 

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