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A Person’s Job

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

I waited as you told me to. I waited by the windowpane and kept a firm eye on today: today’s skies, the present moment’s beauties, never the moments that  have left me or the ones yet still to reach me. 

But it has almost been a year since you stood at the tip of the tent outside my home, separated by the glass of my enclosure, and watched the day break anew alongside me. I kept your lessons close to my heart, and I never did forget you.

I waited as you told me to. I waited for the day that the sky–rippled at the touch of your wings –is rippled by the sight of my freedom. 

But I’m so tired of waiting.

My body teeters between frailed exhaustion and enraged frustration

One whispers and the other screams

But they both say the same thing:

I want to see it;

I want to see something new;

I can’t bear these four walls that surround me anymore;

I can’t speak of a future life, a future sunrise to watch anymore, no,

I want to see it now.

Anger and sorrow collide within me. My body clenches inwards and gasps for air. It mirrors the entrapment I am in. 

I blink at the plain wall that holds this window to the world and whirl 

hungrily looking for a bucket of paint.

Blue, the sky is blue; I can’t let these four walls make me forget that the sky is blue, blue, blue.

Running and staggering toward the liquid lazuli,

I grab onto the container and hurl it at the wall and watch as the sky stares back at me. 

I breathe out, and I feel somewhat calmer. 

Is this what you meant when you told me to bask in the present? 

I suppose waiting and hoping can only satiate me for so long. I had needed to create something, a memory that I made myself, not one that I merely envisioned.

Oh, how I’ve grown tired of waiting.

I truly tried, I tried to be like a bird… to be like you. 

But I cannot be a bird, my friend, for I am a person. And though I don’t need  wings to be free,

As you told me,

One must still try to create the things they want to see as best as they can by themselves, sometimes.

They must make compromises and create an artificial sky so that, at the very least, they can see a semblance of that blue that once protected them from above.

This is because you live amidst this real sky. And while I wish to join you someday, and while that hope has not left me,

I must accept this sky of paint right now. I must concede that it is not that same beauty that I remember from before but a new one. 

The one that I did not wait for. 

If a bird’s job is never to forsake their wings, the things they are blessed with,

then a person’s job is never to forsake their ability to make wings of their own. 


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