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Blackbird

When I was young

I heard the song of a caged blackbird singing
I heard happiness and vitality in his voice
Like he was proud to have seen this year’s spring
What I didn’t realize at the time
Was that the blackbird song was not a song
but an anthem of his misery

For being confined in a shrinking jail
Repeating itself like a broken record player
Unlike the bird, my cage was open and
My wings could unfurl, carry me
To San Francisco, where I could
Walk across the golden gate bridge
To Tibet, where I could

Climb Mt. Everest
Careful not to exert myself
Because deep down I am frail
My hands shake, my voice staggers
You could measure my self confidence
In the teaspoons of sugar I mix
Into my morning coffee

But if you give me a chance,
I will try my hardest to do my best
And if it takes me a few tries
It’s because i’m a spider carefully
weaving a home between two branches.
When I have a daughter
I’ll take pictures of her laughing

So that she can look back at the moments
When she forgot what year she was in
Because when life slaps her in the face
I won’t always be there to hold her
Or make her favorite dinner that night
She’ll come out with bruises on her
Hands too small to hold so much weight.

But I know she’ll survive with a smile
So I want to be her inspiration
And keep getting back up
So she can look up at the sky
And smile
when she hears
The free blackbird singing.




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