I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps 
on the back of the wind 
and floats downstream 
till the current ends 
and dips his wings 
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks 
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through 
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and 
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings 
with a fearful trill
of the things unknown 
but longed for still
and his tune is heard 
on the distant hill for the caged bird 
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn 
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

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. 

- Maya Angelou