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A Bird in a Gilded Cage by Jeanne, flickr

A Bird in a Gilded Cage by Jeanne, flickr

Oh lady, how is it you are caged again despite the tatters of your plumage, evidence of former loves’ ravishing and broken promises, cheeping meekly your protest and your cause fading as it is among desert blooms in a noonday heat under a new lover’s burning interest. The gilding on the wires, the prettiness of the perch were the wild proclamations of love you accepted despite yourself. And you tasted without wisdom the pink sugar water in the little bowl, delicious but without nutrients.

Are you no different from the old text’s version of you blaming you for lust of the eyes and desire for possession, the taker of the fruit, the ruination of the world? If so you have been tricked by becoming a possession yourself, a possession of the man who only proclaims but does not understand, the worn out troubadour intent on his fame but not married to the idea of actual love.

Dear Lady: How is it you never remember that the ones who declare their greatest love early, a morning mist disappearing in the late morning sun, convince themselves and maybe some small part of you that this time it is life and not death? No matter that you said you would never be trapped by anyone who did not care to know your treasured secrets, tender details, beating heart.

Take heart. You know you are finding your strength when, after the bloom falls from the rose, your thoughts and feelings rise up, those old girlhood bones, causing your suitor to blink, stumbling in your blinding light. How he had not anticipated the murder of the scrim of the false lover’s reality. How he underestimated the individual he has enslaved behind it.

She has a will and a conscience and a mind and needs! How awful these stabs to his eyes! How cruel the world of women he thinks, how cruel and ungrateful this one! he says. No appreciation of the gilded cage, the golden perch! The thing has escaped, is flying outside, around and around, wild and uncivil, its leg uncuffed and the sugar water left behind in the bowl.