The following poem is a continuation of “Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou, who was first
inspired by the Paul Laurence Dunbar poem “Sympathy,” written in the late 18th
century-- with my own modern twist.

I too am a caged bird
Evelyn Flores

I soar through the sky
Flying freely, elegantly
The sun warming my face
With a start I wake up  
Still caged, but fooled
I feel the heavy weight of my shackles
I believe I can fly, I believe I can soar with them
But it’s all a cruel  lie

A lie, a beautiful and elegant lie, creative even
But alas, I dream of the world of tomorrow
A world where I will be able to soar without limits
Not restricted by my heavy shackles

Here I am still crying out for help
Still in pain
Still being held back
Still stopped by my own mind
Still trying to break free like the birds of yesterday
I try to break free for the birds of marrow
I thank them for their bravery,
Thank them even though I know,
That there still is a long unpaved road ahead
But I thank them nonetheless for beating their wings and crying out

Sometimes in the night
When the moon is full,
And my only witnesses are the stars
Like a professional sleuth,
I slowly and quietly in a single move slip out of my shackles
I spread my wings and begin to soar,
like I was meant to
I expertly fly through the sky
The stars looking at me with warning looks,
telling me I should be more careful
But when they see my face,
They see that hope,
that happiness that they only see at night

As the sun begins to shine in the horizon
And the clouds part  
I quickly make it back to tartarus
The place that they tell me is my home
I sing my haunting tune
Slowly stowing away all of my dreams, aspirations,
and hopes, savoring them
Knowing they are weapons that they can use against me
And lie in my cage that is my mind again

Waiting, patiently
Like time itself I sit and wait,
Biding my time,
But most of all waiting

Until the day where I will be able to escape my shackles
Not only in the night
When my only witnesses are stars
And the moons haunting and mystical aura

I beat my wings fighting but knowing it's futile,
Because I am forced to be patient and wait for the days in which
I am able to fly next to the birds that were always free,
fly next to them in the day
And get to feel the sun’s warmth envelope me,
Like a mother's hug,
telling me it will all be all right
Making me feel safe to dream

Because even though I will never feel the pain that the caged birds before me felt
I am still shackled and measured
I believe there will come a day when birds of every color
Will be able to dream, to have aspirations and hopes
And won’t have to hide them
And know that there dreams are dreams no more
Evelyn Flores