The Bird Caged

A poem


beside Kate Walbert


What does the bird caged know of the sky?

I let the door open on its brass hinge.

It doesn’t un-grip its rigid claws from its swing,

the bird does not move nor blink its seed eyes.

No trick, it could have done it, many times.

I shake the cage hard and shake it again.

It just swings. I must turn the cage upside

down until it wings for balance. Imbecile.


It could have used its beak to lift the latch.

I pull it out; it bites my thumb, the skin

tight there, it hurt so much I fling it.

I would do anything to bring it back,

I’m not as happy as I imagined.

The door hanging without the latch that fit.