Cages, poetry written by Ipsita Banerjee at



written by: Ipsita Banerjee



I did not wring its neck, but
the blue budgie died by my hand
when I set it free from the cage,
where it stayed on the balcony.
A crow pounced on it all at once
ripped it to shreds while I cried
struck with horror. I was a toddler
but I already hated the cage.

I hated the zoo too, especially the tigers
stuck in cells with barely space to pace
and humans jeering them along, watching,
their lives open to scrutiny, dependant
and confined. Animals belong in the wild.
Just as flowers belong on trees. When
I told my father, he smiled and ruffled my hair,
“but cages have uses too, you’ll see.”

I’ve been trying to list the uses
for the caged birds gazing to the trees
for the flowers drying on the altar
for the animals wailing to be freed.
and I have failed. But then I looked
Around me, I heard the rattling
of my chains, aren’t we all
in cages made by society?

I did not want to kill that budgie
I only wished to set it free
But how many of us are not in chains?
Some cages you cannot see.

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