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Escaping Every Cage Poem


Escaping Every Cage

Play reading by Oz Hardwick

........when I was a child,
I wanted to get away from my family
wanted to get away from my town
I wanted something bigger, faster,
stronger than anything I ever knew before

and so as I grew older
I took those childhood memories
those childhood toys, those childhood stories
and one by one
started placing them on an Island
surrounded by deep water
where no one could touch them
and they would always remain
just on the horizon


I have always loved the water
swam all my life
I swam in pools with friends when I was little
I swam along side the tropical fish off the Oahu coast
I swam with dozens
of White-Tipped Sharks off the Galapagos Islands

when I get closer to water
I get itchy to just jump in

but even when I could let go in the water
I’d see that Island in the distance
holding all of my childhood traumas
and I still never felt entirely free


one day
I decided to face these ancient cages
that still hold me down

I wanted to face it all
battle all of those past demons

so I went down to the shoreline
arched my hand along my eyebrows

looked for that Island of mine

the water at the shoreline lapped over my feet
pushing the coastline farther inland today

I kept searching
until I realized

my Island fell into the ocean


everything from my past disappeared
except my memories


that day,
I couldn’t go into the water


we all have our cages
sometimes we can’t see them
but they’re there,
holding us back
restraining us
holding us down
holding us in

as I sit in my cage right now
I look at these walls
hear the cars driving past me
and I think of these things that hold us down


maybe we sometimes need these cages
to protect us
when we don’t know how to protect ourselves

Copyright © by Janet Kuypers, All rights reserved


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