Till the current ends


People / Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Confession: This time of September is always slightly morbid for me.

In 1997, my great-grandmother passed, just when the news was full of the passing of Princess Diana. Death struck close to me for the first time since early childhood, a chilling reminder of frailty and mortality.

In 2001, a boy from my youth group was killed in a motorcycle accident, days before pandemonium struck the nation on September 11.

That year shook me. I remember the way all my loves grew deep roots those first weeks afterward, how everyone who was dear to me became trebly so. I remember having difficulty for a long time in saying simple daily goodbyes to the people closest to me. Would I ever see them again?

There’s a lot in me that still flinches from the thought of those days. There are cracks in the world that didn’t heal.

*****

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wings in the orange sun’s rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with fearful trill
of the things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

by Maya Angelou

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JessicaD
9 years ago

O Shari! I hear you. Only I start a year earlier than you with my Papa dying. 16 years is a lot of Septembers…