fiction

What Gets Under My Skin: Words

Caged Bird

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun 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.
***
By Maya Angelou
photo credit: @amarnathtade
I asked my younger students (10-13) to find a poem they REALLY liked and bring it to class today. I gave the assignment so they’d scour the poetic universe and find something that slammed into their little souls with the power of a three-engine freight train. My teacher’s fantasy. The reality was some of them printed off the first “poem” they found and could barely enunciate the words (though I told them to practice reading it aloud). For others, the magic did work. And not only that, I was the one most blessed. One student shared this poem, and for some reason, it got under my skin.

5 thoughts on “What Gets Under My Skin: Words”

  1. Hooray! The “magic” worked. I love this poem. Terry and I love wild birds. Thanks, Teacher, for getting under my skin as I contemplate which bird I am.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.