My Maya, when can a caged bird cease singing?

My Maya, when can a caged bird cease singing?
© kendall crouther


My Maya, when can a caged bird cease singing?

When you died,

I no longer had your rainbow

in my clouds.


I see you up there in heaven,

and I know you remember us.

We were sitting on that stage together; us

before the whole audience.


We shared of the rape,

the folk who were never our kin,

and the shadows of willful men who authored our blue-faced bruises


and sorrows.

The menfolk and women kin who scripted our songs.


We knew a deep connection

that made all the others

in that arena




Being-less. For they

had never known

our childhood burials.

The two of us were so in love with gratitude


wanting and hopefulness

A golden



eagerness that smiled.


All the layers of my face

peeled back when we were together.

I did not hide among them, Maya.

Your spirit nursed

the strength I needed

to identify with a joy

that is still standing

inside my emaciated




But now that you are

gone from me, Maya,

my appetite is gone.

I cannot grow without

your breasts because

they provide a refuge

that she does not own.


Maya – what do I do,

now that Little Bird’s song is fading?

Her heart is sick.

Her feathers are blackening.

It is a disparaging plague from a spawn

that can only come

from Satan.


Where is your shame, shame?

Of whom do you fear?

Why can I not stomp

out your flames that

asphyxiate me?

I hear your crackline

and I watch the

weight fade.

The magical numbers start

popping into my peripheral.

I am a race


except I have no


no finish line

no bifocal glasses

and earplugs for

noise so I can

react to the whistle.


Up there in heaven, Maya,

where you are with our God,

did you ever determine

the reason of her ways?

Did He tell you why she

found fulfillment in hearing

my tears fall into the

shut door?


“No,” you say?

Are you sure he does not know?

Did I hear that correctly?


How is it that the

God of our universe

cannot rationalize into words

her ever evolving hell planet?

He is and was and will be!

But then again, this God

does not know wickedness.

He participates in no fixed piece

other than to avenge us.


I am sad Little Bird does

not want to sing anymore.

That she starves herself

hates herself

hates her wings

pulls out her own bones

in her feet so that

she cannot stand so the

snakes slither on her

more easily and then maybe they’ll be kinder

to her instead of

swallowing her migration

patterns whole –


those hoarder snake beasts.

No. – Fiends.



I love you, Maya.

I remember your firm words

that initially hurt my feelings and then

saved my life.


I remember learning

not to be afraid of adoption and seeing a life for myself past foster care.

You are my angel, Maya.

Take my spirit with you.

Where you go, it shall go.

It shall be as yours remains.

Do not leave me, Maya.

Come back fighting.

Come back slaying the slurs.

I don’t care

what the drivers

say: there is no

gentleness in night.


I’m sad, Maya.

I’m suffering.

My words feel stuck

and cluttered

because I am scared.

I see the latch

and cannot open it.

The worst part about being a bird,


is that even though

my cage is not

locked anymore,

my wings

are incompatible

with the hand prints

that can open the latch.


I can’t do this anymore, Maya.

Waking, fighting,

waking, fighting.

I am imprisoned by fear.


Please, Maya?


What do I do when

the little bird stops