Liberty This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 20, 2011
When the sun glares in from the wrong direction,
I sit down in the kitchen with my coffee mug in hand
peering down into valleys in the creaky teak table.

“It's actually supposed to be a soup bowl,”
my mother would mention gently –
embarrassed by my incorrect usage of the mug:

concerned, as she was
to teach me social graces and manners
tying me down arbitrarily.

A house sparrow tickles the attic, giggling
And I hear bees dozing with a quiet purr under my shutters
outside; it is cold, I remember
wiggling my toes inside woolen socks.

“We'll have to set traps to get them out,”
my father would conclude, sighing.

Still I climb the stairs,
carefully opening my attic door
and excited sparrows flitter
this way and that around my head,
past my ears with a sing-song longing
as they careen down the stairs with me;

I see their wings, striped tawny and white
blaze past me

and I let the windows fly open,
embracing the buzzing bees, awakened from their winter nap
while the curtains float melodically in frigid air
surrounding me like a blanket of ice,
hugging me as the sparrows swerve into the open
like freed souls dancing down from heaven
back to the life they had missed, to the life they had wished for.

I remember now that my parents aren't here;
and their advice, well-founded, maybe, isn't always right.

Dust bunnies hiding in corners cautiously waltz onto the open floor
desiring the same freedoms, but too afraid to ask outright,
“Go ahead!” I cry, “Go!”
The doorway accepts them without doubt,
without judgment, without prejudice.

“Go ahead!” the hinges on the door shout, “Go!”
and everyone now has found freedom, I know,
myself included as I sink blissfully to the earth
and blow away with the affectionate wind.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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