Who would have thought the years being locked in a cage would be the happiest time of my life?
I used to dream about gliding- my wings spread wide as I rode the breeze over a horizon that went on forever. I would wake in the dark and scream out in frustration, hoping that someday I could sing my real song.
The nights became longer and the dreams became unwelcome. You see, when I'm too caged in, fantasies are more like nightmares, taunting me, teasing me; a blatant reminder of what I can never have.
It was all I wanted. It was everything.
I escaped the first time the opportunity presented itself. Barreling through the unlocked door, I ran down the table and leaped through the open window with wings unfurled. I sang then, the sweetest noise I have ever made.
Until I fell.
I had never truly experienced the sensation of falling. It wasn't as peaceful as I imagined. It was terrifying.
I thought flying would come easy. I thought I would simply beat-beat-beat my wings and soar beyond the highest branch. I thought I would rub elbows with the clouds. Instead I awkwardly plummeted downward, the wind non-existent, and the only beat-beat-beat was my frantic heart.
And now…as I sit with a broken wing, I still don’t sing. I don’t whine either. I can’t make a sound- not without being noticed
I am a lone swallow in the wild, a middle creature who hunts for grubs yet I am easy prey. I am unprotected.
At least the cage was warm. At least in the cage there was food.
Freedom is fierce gales and cold earth barren of cover.
And still I dream of flight. I sing so beautifully in my race to the sun. I bask in its warmth before it blinds me- remnants of my pupils drip like black ink from empty sockets. The heat… it burns me, my screams unheard due to the height. I float as ash, a flurry of forgotten songs.
Again I wake, cursing freedom.
What a cruel joke.