Caged Bird

(incarceration)

the days are so bleak
the nights bitter cold
I age but one day
yet feel ten times as old
I gaze toward the mirror
to see the eyes of a stranger
blank face staring back
features distorted by anger
to contemplate death
is to glimpse liberation
my soul heavy and weary
my bones weak with frustration

I fear the depths of lunacy
have become shallow at last
I drown slowly in melancholy
the surface just beyond grasp
last night I watched the lightening
scream and tear through the midnight sky
it's fury and unbridled beauty
brought burning tears to my eyes
how I long to be with it
feel the gentle patter of rain
wander with bare feet through grass
fresh air enticing my brain
I am but a mear bird
tagged, Caged, and wings clipped
not a privilege on earth
and knee deep in shit
I am but a mear bird
who has long lost it's song
it's bright feathers turned gray
it's will to fly, sadly... long gone
-- Nathan Mercier, June 1998
Riverhead Correctional Facility, NY

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