Paper Ashes

[For the Name on Your Wrist Competition] She cries. He sighs. She smiles. He files. She writes. He lights. She dies. He lies.

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4. A Trapped Bird

A young bird sings for the new sun

An old bird sings for the sun that's lost

Two birds together sing for joy

Two birds apart sing for sorrow 

A free bird sings to share happiness

A trapped bird sings to make hope

"Now tell me class, just before we finish, what ideas was Patel Leuvron trying to convey in the poem on your sheets?" Blank faces all around. "No one? No one has any ideas?" A heavy sigh. "The birds are representative of -" The ringing of a bell cut him off. No one bothered to stay to find out what the answer really was. They had houses to go to, some of them even had homes.

Yet, as Ty trekked the distance to his council estate, he found himself brooding over the poem. Children were excited by everything new and old people went on about the 'good old days'. So, those two lines were about age. The next two were love. A couple and a break-up. The last two were freedom. Freedom from what? From worry? From care? From pain? Everyone perceived freedom differently. For him, freedom would be getting his own house, earning his own money. Being able to make his own decisions. So then, was he trapped?

 

Walking through his front door, he carefully wiped his shoes on the mat before taking them off and placing them on the shoe rack. He heard breathing, but it was too close to defend himself. A fist descended.

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