Cage Songs

Birds don’t sing
for freedom they already have.

Birds sing
for what they desire.

Imprison someone long enough
and they will learn to sing.

Prisoners who can hear birds
will offer cage songs in response.

Any prisoner who learns
how to sing cage songs

will eventually learn
how to make them beautiful.

The warden wants to keep them
from being free.

They will take
the cage songs from the singers,

sell them to the world,
call them freedom songs.

All those freedom songs began
as cage songs rising

in the throats of those
who have been locked down.

Listen to them, the warden says.
Listen to them singing like birds.

The warden might be telling the truth
but you would have to ask a prisoner

to be certain, and no one
wants that to happen. After all

your own chains
might be at risk.

You might feel
a powerful need to sing.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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