local_library Wings that refuse to stay closed

by V S Balakrishnan

Published in Issue No. 283 ~ December, 2020

The old wooden windows did not compromise with the night’s cold wind.

The room was warm contrasting with the chilly breeze that blew outside

Like the border between a wealthy superpower and its not-so-fortunate neighbor

With the thin square frames functioning like the towering border wall.

The dark gray clouds swallowing the stained moon whole

Was the last image seen before my drowsy eyes shut for sure

And sank to the depths of the dream world where time and the dimensions,

The precise definers of the directions for life’s any journey are unknown.

And suddenly there was chaos everywhere.

“Free the birds,” the surrounding echoed multiple times with a single chant,

As groups of men and women, both young and old, some carrying

Empty bird cages in their hands and others dressed up as birds themselves

Marched through the streets creating a daunting giant silhouette

As trifling flocks joined together forming large masses, growing wings

As they passed by, lifting up in the air with every step placed forward

And falling back to the ground frowning, cursing their heavy heads,

Then regrouping themselves for another attempt to take off,

Their momentary gift symbolizing their clients’ generations of instinct.

When an emerald parakeet in all its elegance and glory proclaimed,

“Ye can’t put me behind bars for no reason. I am not even black” in an authoritative voice,

I woke up frantically and checked the time. It was the middle of the night,

And two blood-thirsty eyes that I loved to watch glow in the sun’s golden rays

Were staring at me from behind cold steel bars without a blink.

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I am Balakrishnan writing from Tamil Nadu, India. I am 29 years old and have earned my BA in English literature. I write in both English and my mother-tongue Tamil, and have self-published a poetry book in both. My works have appeared in Pif Magazine, Better than Starbucks Magazine, Plants and Poetry Journal, Poets Choice, Castello Duino Poesia, The Wire's Dream Magazine, Coffee People Zine, Unstamatic Magazine, and Dissident Voice. Besides writing, I am also interested in gardening and painting as well.