Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!
The Bird in the Cage
I am not better than my brother over the way,
But he has a bird in a cage and I have not.
It beats its little fretted wings
Against the wires of its prison all day long.
Backward and forward it leaps,
While summer air is tender and the shadows of
Rock on the ground,
And the earth is so cool and heated in spots,
And the air from rich herbage rises teeming,
And gold of suns spills all round,
And birds within the maples
And birds upon the oaks fly and sing and flutter.
And there is that little green prisoner,
Tossing its body forward and up,
Backward and forth mechanically!
I listen for its hungry little song,
Which comes unsatisfying,
Like drops of dew dispelled by drought.
O, rosebud doomed to ripen in a bud vase!
O, bird of song within that binding cage!
Nay, I am not better than my brother over the way,
Only he has a bird in a cage and I have not.
Written by Effie Lee Newsome (1885-1979)
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