She was a bird – Kristiana Reed

She was a bird

In a few years time

I hope we’ll see each other again.

We’ll be in different clothes

with difference faces and partners

who aren’t you or I.

I will smile because

I’ve always been gracious

and I’ve been waiting for this.

You’ll smile too

but it will be weaker, pained,

stretched like papier-mache.

And I hope when your new wife asks

what happened between us,

you’ll say:


‘She was a bird

and I was a cage

of black bars rattling

with rage,

never unlocked

yet with the power to pluck

each feather from her wings.

She had always deserved to fly,

you could see it in her eyes;

small, beady and watchful

but if she ever stepped too close

to the edge

I would give her a mouthful,

of steel, rust and dust.

I wasn’t good enough

so I forced her to believe

it was her;

her fire, her salt,

her brimstone, her faults

and her wings.

Those wings which refused to cease

and continued to beat

against the bars of my chest,

the crook of my arm

the back of my head.

She left me,

not because she outgrew me

but because she never belonged

in a cage in the first place.’


You won’t say anything more

because on cue

my shoulder blades will part

for my wings to unfurl.

They are fuller, they glimmer

more than when you saw them last.

They are iridescent;

bewitching in moonlight,

spellbinding in sunshine

and they are mine, all mine;

the bird who was finally freed

to fly.


Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar & Sudden Denouement, and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.

38 thoughts on “She was a bird – Kristiana Reed

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