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Writing prompt from A Writer’s Path: Ten Quote Tuesday (#21): A human cage built without a lock.

Sometimes we make our own cages…


woman in cage






In the darkness I hear
the anxious voice
of one calling,
“Here am I. Find me,”
and instinctively I know
the voice is my own.
Hands shake,
head whirls,
stomach pitches
as I crouch
alone in the dark
vomiting up
fears and insecurities.
How can one feel so lost
in a cage so small?

They’re still there,
the fragments that
made me who I was.
But reaching for them now
my hands find only
shadows of things that were,
intangible waves
like ripples of heat
rising from concrete
on a scorching August day.
And I’m disoriented…
and frightened…

My mind searches frantically
to recall who I’ve been
before all familiarity is lost,
but whoever that was,
she holds little meaning
for me now.
I’ve forgotten her
in the way we forget
all who go away –
a little at a time.

Dropping to my knees
I take some comfort
in the narrow confines
of my cage and pull it close
like a soft, warm blanket.

Who would’ve thought
I’d ever give thanks
for such a little space
when my spirit longs to soar
to such great heights.
But how can one soar
when they know not
if they have wings?

In relief my hand reaches for
the reassurance of hard cage bars,
then recoils in horror
as a door gives way
to the unknown outside.

No lock!
I am my own jailer.

Possibilities flood in
and an unexpected cry of terror
rises in my throat
as freedom beckons.

I’m a caterpillar
knowing not
what I will be,
wondering if I have
the strength and courage
to shed my cocoon
and seek my destiny,
unsure of which
is more paralyzing,
that which has been,
or that which yet may be.