Freedom

She came flying out of the bar in a flash so quick I was confident a bar girl had decided to up her attempts. Then the streak of blue landed and I looked into familiar eyes. The joy of seeing her quickly faded as I realized she had not come to see a friend at this bar… it was her new job. A deep part of me ached. Her children were at home in Isaan with her family who had encouraged her to return to her brokenness. And she had returned, alone, to seek a man and riches in a city that’s glittering lights offer false hope of such dreams becoming a reality. The freedom once within her grasp through a fresh start once offered through the loving care of a Christian organization seemed now to lie firmly in her past. She was moving forward now… back into a cage when she once was a bird set free.

A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky.

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.

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.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

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.

– “I know why the caged bird sings”   Maya Angelou

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