The Stranger Beside You

Trapped like that little bird

looking out onto a busy world.

The cage of gold inside my head.

But no less real to me.

A cage by whose design?

I’m afraid to answer –

My head imploding…

I don’t belong in here

dancing with same demonsย 

who tried to destroy me.

They think I don’t remember.

They think I’m that little bird

of too many wasted sunsets.

But the joke’s on them.

How long has it been?

Does it even matter?

Not today.

I can still see her if I look

long enough, or close enough.

So I look the other way.

Except now.

She hasn’t changed, but I have.

I need to be free.

I need to hug the open sky.

And if I lose sight of the horizon,

I’ll follow my heart back home –

My refuge in a sea of broken dreams…

So you see, this cage cannot hold me.

Not today.

Not tomorrow.

ยฉBrenda Baker ~ Caffeinated Ramblings 2017


If we could see into the hearts of others, we would see what truly matters.


On a personal note: I was inspired to write this poem after accidentally overhearing part of a conversation between two women who were taking great pleasure in criticizing another woman who wasn’t there to defend herself. I was shocked by the cruelty of their words. But their conversation did remind me of how quick we can be to judge sometimes. A right we’ve never been given.

It’s my firm belief that in judging others, we say more about ourselves than we do them. We all have a story to tell, and we’re all struggling with something, or we’ve struggled at some point in our lives. We need to build each other up, not tear each other down. We are born into this world knowing how to love. Hate is a learned emotion, and a choice.


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4 Responses

  1. Tami says:

    The story behind the inspiration for the poem is such a sad truth about so many people and your reaction to it with this poem is perfect Brenda. I have felt judged many times. I always wonder how much of that feeling was real or just my own insecurities playing cruel tricks on my emotions. The “bird” in my head/cage has finally realized what you so eloquently said – what people say or when they judge really is a reflection on them, and NOT on us. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • CyberneticBlonde says:

      Unfortunately, people will sometimes judge without knowing a person or their situation. Everyone has a story to tell, and it’s not for us to judge. I suspect that in so doing, they’re trying to make themselves feel better. Although I’m not sure how that could work. I’m guessing that most of us have been unfairly judged at some point in our lives. And while we can’t stop others from judging us, we can control how we react to it. I tend to ignore people’s opinion of me. The most important opinion is our own. ๐Ÿ™‚ What others think doesn’t change who we are.

  2. -Eugenia says:

    Powerful message relayed beautifully especially considering the circumstances behind your reason for writing this poem.

    • CyberneticBlonde says:

      Thank you so much, Eugenia.๐Ÿ’œ I’ve come to realize that inspiration comes from the most unexpected places sometimes. It’s up to us as writers to run with it.๐Ÿ˜Š

Your beautiful words always give me reason to smile.


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