If I squint, if I close my eyes almost entirely but not quite
I can just about make out the bars of the cage that surrounds me.
It might be made of bamboo or wire
like the cages they sell birds in at the markets
But in fact the bars are so much stronger
because they are in my head.
Some days my cage appears to be a box drawn in chalk on the pavement
A box from which I’m not allowed to step outside.
The people laugh or titter or whisper to each other
if I over step the boundary
and I’m left feeling foolish.
Sometimes it’s a tentative step, sometimes a confident step
but the confidence never lasts…
And though they pretend, the people are unkind
with conceited looks they snigger and quietly jeer behind their hands
but never to my face
so I retreat into my chalk-drawn box
that only I can see.
Sometimes it’s lonely in my invisible enclosure.
Incarceration in a virtual box
not big enough to let me dance
but big enough to function – just.
akin to shackled feet
this virtual slave
dances in her dreams
“Sometimes our thoughts are backed by so much insecurity, that they create lies we believe.”