Cages

I saw a cage today
It looked just like mine
With crisscross steel bars
And a very strong lock

There was a little boy in the back
I wondered what he had done
He was skinny with poking ribs
Curled up on the floor

I walked closer to him
I stared and I stared
His eyes suddenly lit up
He stares right back

Little boy what did you do?
Why is your cage so big
Why are your walls so high
He pointed at a pile just right behind him

Bone white and gleaming
With a skull plopped atop
Then he looked at me and smiled
I killed the man they wanted me to be

My parents searched but couldn’t find him
But one day
The truth came out,
The man they knew refused to come out

I left his bones under my bed
They found them and then they found me
To make me sorry to make me sad
They built this cage and put me in

His voice barely more than a croak
Withered and unfed
‘With no regrets
I would do it again’

Then I looked at my walls
And how high they were
Self-imposed cages of responsibility
I built over the years

The sharp fence of all my decisions
And the thick padlock of regret
I Choose to be here
I created my prison
I cannot leave

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