I KNOW WHO FREED THE CAGED BIRD

I KNOW WHO FREED THE CAGED BIRD

  • ( FOR MARGUERITE  [MAYA] ANGELOU)

I did not see Moses strike the Red Sea

I  did not see the wand  that ushered in the east wind

But should I feign ignorance of the guard of honour mounted by seawalls

 for the newly freed?

 

When the scabbard  winces at the scrape of the machete

Bearing the brunt of its two-edged fanaticism,

I would rather not trade places with the tethered ram!

I do not know if it was the cockerel  that crowed up the dawn

Or the dawn that gave voice to the cockerel

But I know the source rock of celebrant  springs

 I know who untethered that bleating  ram….

 

I did not feel the hands that undid the shackle

I did not see the manacler flee at the inscrutable smile of  the manacled

But I know the wielder of the pen that refused to yield to pain

I know the one who waxes melodious even when  chronicling grief.

 

 I felt the scented newness of an unfolding petal

a  Mandela-size spirit spreading  like ripples across vast tides

I saw no blood, save that on your lintel

I heard no  sound, save the flutter of escaping birds

But I knew whom the pantheon were welcoming with a toast of eagle feathers.

 

You always knew that All God’s Children Need Travelling Shoes

I don’t know how long you’ve had yours on.

I do not know if it was the cockerel that crowed up the dawn

Or the dawn that gave voice to the cockerel

But I know who untethered that bleating  ram….

I know who freed the caged bird……

 

  • Anaele Ihuoma
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