Friday, December 4, 2009

Song Bird.

Song bird

"A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages." Tennessee Williams.


In my gilded cage I sit perched upon my swing. The morning sun illuminates my golden hair and warms my cool skin. The day is quite breath taking and I’ve been so inspired with its beauty that it deserves a lovely song. Without hesitation I’m serenading the flowers and birds with my melody. It isn’t long before I forget my place and fall into a trance with this song. The bars of my prison seem to vanish and I can only imagine that I’m free to walk in the grass and feel the day without my shackles. A loud noise resonates from the other room and I’m clearly reminded of my place. Master is up and moving about the house. He approves of my song this morning otherwise my cage would be covered again. I can only hear him hard at work in the far end of the house.

The sunlight dances through the trees, twinkling as it tumbles down the window sill into my cage. The bars are a beautiful golden honey color, as are the chains that bind me here. In my prison, this oversized bird cage, where I spend my days singing at my master’s beck and call, brushing my long hair and dreaming of my escape. The cage door has no key, lock welded shut. No escape? I wasn’t always a prisoner. Someone loved me once, and called me daughter. It isn’t always clear how I ended up here. But I remember another life before this, how freedom felt as a small child dancing in the sunlight and swinging with the wind in my hair. Its days like this when I’m perched on my swing watching the world pass me by, seeing the life outside the open window that I long for more. I secretly envy the outside and hate myself for desiring my independence. "You can be happy here," My master tells me. "My sweet southern song bird, you can be happy here. Sing for me." And he has always been so generous to me, as I could not ask for more. But I desire more. Outside. A life out of the cage. "SING to me," he yells from an unknown corner I can not see. Perhaps I’ve been quiet too long. Deep within my thoughts I’ve been plotting my escape.

Night creeps in like a rolling cloud of smoke. Silly master, he drank too much again and is sound asleep next to the cage. He absent mindedly left my cage uncovered. I climb down from my perch and nestle into the velvety pillows and blankets of my bed. Quietly I observe his movements as he sleeps. I can see a tool in his pocket, just within my grasp. I maneuver about the cage and climb up closer towards his chair. My hands find their way through the bars and take the tool. The cage - I’ve strategized many times how I’d escaped if presented with an opportunity. The gold bars surrounding the door are quite breath-taking in the light of dusk. Small fingers find the screws surrounding the hinges of the door and began to turn. Each night for what seems like an eternity I’ve spent at work removing these screws. The screws are very small and it’s unforgiving work for fingers. Master can not see that I’m injured, so very slowly and secretly I’ve removed them one by one. Tonight is the last night only a couple left and I’m working recklessly. Loud. My only fear is that he will catch me and punish me mercilessly. This cage is the only home I can truly remember clearly. He’s been so kind, aside from my freedom, that I’m ungrateful. Sometimes, I wonder if I’m imagining that other place; the one in my dreams, those vivid images that I can almost touch and breathe. The screws are out. He’s awake. I’m down. On goes the cover.

Darkness. Drunk and sleepy. He’s gone off to retire for the night leaving the windows and doors open. The breeze gently blows at the cover. My work is still quite unfinished. The door will not budge without force. I will need something to pry it open. My swing. I climb up and go to work removing more tiny metal brackets. My fingers, red and sore from this tedious work are more and more numb. The swing proves to be an excellent lever. I’m edging the door open bit by bit, pulling and pushing as quietly as I can. One last push will be enough, loud I fear, but enough. And it is. I’m free. But not alone. Someone is on the other side breathing. My master? I can not see. I pause and listen. It’s small. Not human. I climb out and pull at the cover until I find myself face to face with a tiny deer. A doe. It’s unusually docile and unalarmed by my movements. How did she get indoors? My feet reach the end of the line as the slack in my chains quickly tightens. This noise stirs the doe, but not enough to run. She chooses her steps and backs away from me and the cage. I bend down and began to work at removing my shackles.

The night is cool and despite the gentle breeze, unusually still. The doe watches me from across the room. I’ve removed the chains from my feet. I’m terrified and shaking. There is no reason to hesitate. Not anymore. Yet I can only think of this place. My cage, my home and my heart holds a small sadness desiring another song. I mustn’t. I do. The small quiet melody edges out of my throat into the still night. This final goodbye fills the melancholy in my heart. The doe spooks and disappears back into the darkness of the night. The noise echoes in the hall. He rouses. The house lights up and the sound of movement descends from the hall. I have to leave. Out the window I go, creeping into the darkness and the unknown that now decides my fate.


Heart beating, pulse racing, I head into the brush of the woods and discover he’s not far behind. I can hear the roar of his yell and fury in his heart as I run. My head feels like it will explode at any moment, my bare feet endure the harshness of the forest floor as my hands claw over branches grasping towards freedom. I see a small opening in the darkness and climb in. I can only hear my heart and shallow breaths. I no longer hear any movement. Only the stillness of the night – the trees. It seems like an eternity here in my nest, my small quiet hole in the darkness surrounded by the comforting night. Breathe. Freedom. Breathe. Darkness. Breathe. He’s found me… Singing in my cage on a summer afternoon, watching the sunlight play in the trees, the birds dance in the wind, as I swing.

Six months later... I've found my way out of that metaphorical cage. Now what? Of course my feathers are ruffled in a fashion! This was inspired by a Tennessee Williams quote and by a friend of a friend. Not giving you more than that. Besides I only divulge some of the 'behind-each-story' info. It was written during the headache. And about the magic number... I hit that a while ago and have kept going. I did quietly change something to commemorate that. Can you guess what it was? Did you notice? Anyhow, I don't know what the future of this brings but I'm going to keep going for now. Enjoy? kisses. m..

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