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   POETRY > The Gilded Cage

I am a prisoner in a cage,

A fiery cage of my own device.

Oh, this confine is golden, beautiful beyond belief,

But aesthetics has nothing to do with its making;

For it is but a ruse, set to deceive

A prisoner like me.

Fear, that is what my cage is made of

And I glory in its dark catacombs of despair.

Fear, the most abject and limp of reasons

Can be the most powerful excuse.

To withdraw than to choose;

To remain than to venture.

Then one day, I saw beyond my golden cage

A glimpse of the blue sky beckoning

And in my heart I felt a stirring

A spark, a flame, a burning ache.

And I struggled --

God, how I struggled, fought, strained...

Now, I sit despite exhaustion

My ramrod back refused respite

And through the bars, the blue expanse...

Freedom! So near, so maddeningly out of reach

"Have I struggled in vain?"

I asked, my eyes looking inwards

And a stranger's voice said,

"The answer is within."

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