The Gilded Cage

The Gilded Cage is not just a poem, it is a story of life and struggles and how we can be our own enemy for happiness. I tell people that happiness is a choice. You can be happy with nothing but a small roof over your head or you can be miserable in a mansion. We have to choose and happiness is not an emotion, it is a state of being. Always choose happiness and see the joy in what you have whether it is little or big.

Have you ever seen the aftermath of a damaging storm and seen the families come to their destroyed homes to find what they can to save? I have and what I noticed is there were a family or two that seemed happy in spite of the loss of home for they knew that the most important was saved…each other. And then there were families crying and in despair because their homes were destroyed. It is all a choice and all about what we value most.


Little bird with broken wing
Captive in a world of haze
Frantically searching to escape
Lost in the corridors of a maze

Held by bonds invisible to the eye
The little bird flutters in vain
Though only hurt by a broken wing
The heart was becoming maimed

Caged in glass the world is elusive
Like strangers in the night
The little bird cries from fruitless attempts
And her spirit has lost its fight

Her home is adorned for all to see
Her cage is completely gilded in gold
“I give you everything you need
You should be happy” she is told

But all the glitter and all the shine
Can never fill the little bird’s need
Or stop this little bird’s pitiful cry
As she says “I only want to be freed”

Her cries are silent, her tears are dry
Her wings bruised from beating in vain
No one understands her cries at all
Or knows her deep and yearning pain

Sitting motionless on her little perch
Staring aimlessly through the glass
She is offered precious goodies
But the pleasure does not seem to last

Spring turns slowly into summer
And summer marches on to fall
But time does not lessen the pain
And her unhappiness she tells to all

They grow weary of hearing her cries
When her cage is adorned in gold
Never understanding her needs
Her cries are beginning to sound old

Deserted and alone she begins to molt
Her plumage is turning to crimson
Her songs sound loud and wild
A battle she thinks she has won

Where has the broken bird gone?
What kind of game is this?
With a strut and haughty laugh
She just blows them each a kiss

Everyone is overjoyed it seems
As they begin once again to come back
Never realizing it is a ruse
She is tricking them with this act.

Thinking the worst is finally over
She has become accustomed to her cage
The truth lies in the diary she writes
As the tears cover page after page

The cage is opened occasionally
But the presence is always nearby
So escape is still a distant dream
And she is too sheltered to even try

Company is what she needs, they say
She needs a tiny little child
But peace this does not bring
For she still hears the call of the wild

One day she decides to try to fly away
With the child securely under her arm
But the presence draws her back
With all his sweetness and charm

A taste of freedom lingers in her heart
Escape is planned once again
But, alas new company is coming
She wonders will she ever, ever win?

Once again the haze returns
Despair fills her heart and mind
No matter what the presence offers
No matter how big or sweet or kind

Pain fills all of the minutes in her day
Tears seem to take over every night
The little bird has once again
Lost any of her will to fight

She wanders listlessly around by day
Tiny chirps never entering her haze
Her nights filled with tormented dreams
Of freedom from her beautiful gilded cage

To soar and fly through the air
Over mountains and valleys so low
This little bird is constantly haunted
By the desire to just get up and go

The little bird is haunted every day
The dreams have taken over her bed
Discontent permeates the air like fog
For the sad life that she has led

She calls on the older bird she knows
As she cries out to her all her woe
The older bird listens and tells her
”Baby, be brave and get up and go

See, the cage is no longer locked
The door is swinging to and fro
There is no reason little one
That you cannot pack up and go.”

From being caged so long, she is afraid
That she will no longer know how to fly
So, even when the door is open wide
The little bird is terrified and afraid to try

Hesitating, she cries out in despair for help
Her pitiful words show she does not know
She is uncertain whether to remain inside
Or just to pack and take off and go

She staggers back into the cage in fear
Indecision is clouding her heart
Even when she is given the chance
She does not know how to start

Everything looks brighter outside
The yearning is growing strong
Her melody floats through the air
She knows that is where she belongs

Day by day her courage mounts
As she gets ready to make a break
Dashing through the door, babes in hand
That is all she decides she needs to take

The older bird receives a call
I am on my way the message said
I finally got out of the cage today
Will you please fix the babies beds

Through the rain a distant sound
The frantic beating of their wings
Soon mother and babies are in sight
I’m free, Oh I’m free she sings

Though escaped from the gilded cage
The little bird is trembling in fear
I know he will come after me she cries
For I can feel his presence near

The presence never shows his face
He just makes a very simple call
Is she there with you he wants to know
And says he want her happy that is all

He is willing to let her try the taste
Of all the freedoms of the land
He does not even try to get her back
He never even raises his hand

The little bird settles into the house
Her new life she is ready to start
The excitement growing by bounds
With every beat of her tiny heart

She is fluttering here and there
Tasting and touching everything in sight
Thrilled with this new life she had
She was loving the evening lights

Never being out living on her own
The little bird just did not know
That the big, wide world out there
Was not one continuous show

The babies were left with the old bird
As she played and ran here and there
Living her life doing only as she pleased
As if she did not have a worry or a care

The old bird tried to teach her
Life is different out here she would say
But the little bird would not listen at all
Because she only wanted to be play

If the little bird ever had a need or want
If there was something she could not get
The little bird would beat her wings
In anger she would throw a temper fit.

Although she always wanted to be free
From the presence that was in her life
It was he that she called pleading
At the first signs of trouble or strife

And patient and loving that he was
He filled her every desire or need
But, the little bird was too caught up
To see or appreciate his loving deed

The little bird just wanted to taste life
And wanted to sample all the birds there in
She strutted her fine plumage and flirted
As another bird she worked hard to win

But, once she had this bird in her snare
And he was knocking often at her door
The little bird was not happy or content
Because she wanted so much more

The new bird gave her lots of great gifts
But the little bird was just not content
She badgered the new bird for presents
And was not happy with any he sent

Freedom was not bringing her joy
Her heart was filled with constant pain
She sat around for days and days
Crying tearful songs out in the rain

One night the little bird lost control
As she frantically banged into walls
She grabbed the babies and left the house
Stopping only to make a call

She left in flight, no one knew where
Everyone searched and called all around
Never knowing she flew straight through
Right back to her old home town

She had called the presence to her aid
She would come home; she had said
Please, I do not want to talk right now
Just fix us all some food and a bed

Again the little bird sits in her gilded cage
The door is open wide for everyone to see
Her wing is still broken inside her heart
Because she does not know how to be free

And company is coming once again
To the old gilded cage you see
And while she loves them all
She still yearns to just be free

She cannot see that her wing has healed
And the gate is swinging open wide
She has built her own gate called fear
And shuts it to stay inside