A Caged Bird Stands on the Grave of Dreams. . .I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

 Did you know that when a female goose sits on her eggs to incubate them, her male partner stands guard, protecting her? Seeing this act of bravery and love “in action” today made me think of Maya Angelou’s poem I know why the caged bird sings.

As I looked over at my glowing sister-in-law, nearly seven months pregnant with her first child, and my husband’s brother ever watchful, always proud, I suddenly knew why the caged bird sings.

The caged bird sings from a heart so heavy the song can’t help but escape.

The caged bird sings from dreams that fail to take to flight for the iron bars locking her in, and her dreams out.

The caged bird sings of things unknown but longed for still.

 The caged bird sings of the deep yearning to fly with the clipped wings that make it impossible to leave the ground.

You see my sister-and-brother-in-law sit perched at the water’s edge knowing nothing of the confines of dashed hopes and diminished dreams. They name the sky their own because for them, there is no barrier to flight.

But I know why the caged bird sings from broken dreams.

Yes, I know why the caged bird sings, and its song is the only one that soothes my soul.

I know why the caged bird sings

by, Maya Angelou

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.

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