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.
When Dr. Angelou used this metaphor all those years ago to represent the racism and oppression of her people, we thought we’d be further along than this, didn’t we?
Back in 1969 we would have expected that racism and oppression would’ve been things of the past, not something so horribly visible well into the second decade of the 21st century.
We couldn’t have imagined that backlash to “take a knee” or that white supremacists would have been given credibility by politicians in power. That Facism would be alive in 21ist century America.
We could never have dreamed up the choice between a madman as President or an uber-reactionary who would have us live in a real life Handmaid’s Tale.
Or that the Equal Rights Amendment would fail to be ratified by the necessary number of states.
No, we thought our freedoms were not only safe guarded by open to all people regardless of race, creed, color, gender.
We were so wrong.
When I read this the other day I saw the confining bars of the cage closing in on us all. And I wondered how we could’ve gotten it so darn wrong.