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Tar and Feathers

The bird in her cage does not know

what it is like

to fly along the wind currents

like a mighty force of nature.


The bird has lost her voice after years of

singing to the sun in the morning

and crying to him at night,

for he was her only company,

and his departure left her fearful of his counterpart.


The Moon bores down upon her feathers

as if he is not so far away.

The Sun blinds her from herself;

The Moon conceals her.


The cage offers no protection.

For such a small bird, the prison is tantalizingly large.


Indeed, the bird can no longer sing,

but her vision has never been

more lucid.

She and The Sun watch

the hawks circle the sky,

the sparrows sing their songs,

the crows patrol for diamonds.


She does not even know what kind of bird she is.


She always pays close attention to the sparrows;

She believes they are her kin.

But she cannot see her brilliant yellow plumage.

The bird opens her beak

to her brothers and sisters

but is met with aggressive silence.

The silence gives her eternity

to mull

until she is overcome with grief.


The birds who fly by freely

drown her dazzling yellows

with their symphonies of provocations,

teasing the young bird who

cannot fly,

cannot sing,

cannot escape her prison.


The bird has lost all tolerance for her plight,

and she gives herself to the sun

one last time

before exhausting her resistance.


Only then can she sing again.

Only then can she see the effulgence

of her feathers

for the first time.

Only then can she lift her wings

beyond the limits of her cage

and create a new horizon.

Only then is she free.

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