The Stranger Beside You
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 demons
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?
I can still see her if I look
long enough, or close enough.
So I look the other way.
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.
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.