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The Caged Bird

By , Roeland Park, KS
She sits up
In her bed
To greet the cool
Morning

She walks down
The stairs
To find her husband
Drinking coffee

Time to go to work
He says
He absent-mindedly gives her
A kiss and walks out
The door

She watches him go
With a sort of
Sadness
She knows he will
Be back, but sometimes she wonders
What does he do
During those long nights
In the office?

She sits alone in the darkness, fearing
What she suspects will come soon
Divorce is a powerful word
Maybe that’s what’s fated
To happen
To her



The children run down
The stairs to greet her
Mom!
Mom!
Mom!
They chorus




Emma
With her coarse blonde hair
She is the oldest
And the leader

Peter
With his look of intellectuality
He is the middle child
Always stuck in between

Andrea
The youngest
The baby
No one cares for her brains
It is 1957
Girls aren’t that smart

The children beg for
Their breakfast, which they shall
Receive soon enough

As a mother, she’s supposed
To love them,
Hold them,
Cherish them,
But she finds it hard

Trapped in this bird cage
Called reality

The children grab
Their sacks and dash
Out the door with a flourish

She sips her coffee
And thinks
Chores to do
Food to be prepared
Life to be given up




She pours my coffee
Into the sink and smiles
At her perfectly
Kept garden

On impulse,
She knows the solution to
Her problems
She is prepared
After all, she’s a mother
That’s all that they are
Mothers are
Prepared

She walks to the garden
Uses her delicate hands to grasp
The flower’s dainty neck
A very pliant flower, the daisy snaps

She takes the waxy petal in her hand
And she gently puts the flower’s remains
In her hair

She smiles as she walks
Inside to pack
Shirts
Skirts
Dresses
Shoes
Gloves
They are all put in
The suitcase quickly

It snaps shut
She grips its handle
And walks slowly to the other side of the
Room

She takes the picture that rests in
The drawer of
Her night table
She pulls it out slowly
The young man smiles in
His war garb
She smiles back



She holds back the tears
As she remembers the day
She received the letter
Weeks after
He died

She walks away from the room
She holds her
Breath, not wanting
The smell
Of shaving cream
And perfume
To distract her from her
Task

She takes the picture
And holds it to her heart
As she stands in the
Doorway, she looks behind herself
At the cheery house
With the
White picket fence

She looks back
At her old life

She lifts a gloved hand and waves
She smiles sweetly
And she turns
Around

As she walks out the door, she is
Free at last
She doesn’t look behind anymore
She just keeps walking.





Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

Solnyshko This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 10, 2010 at 10:31 pm
I think you've  captured the reality of a sad situation. Well done! Very well written.
 
ahnoosh said...
May 10, 2010 at 1:49 pm
sad but reality for too many I wanted to read more- will she be ok? I hope Andrea doesn't have ADHD.....
 
sookie replied...
May 10, 2010 at 5:46 pm
And so the plot thickens...
 
bridgesb1 said...
May 8, 2010 at 11:01 am
This writer has an "old soul".very believable, as though the writer lived those experiences in the 50's....good read.     
 
sookie replied...
May 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm
Thanks for the support "bridgesb1"!
 
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