i know why

I know why the caged bird sings

I know why she tries to fly with broken wings

I know why

I know why

Because deep inside

Something is hurt


I know why the dying bird cries for love

I know why her sing rings to the heavens above

Because she knows

She will die all alone

And cold

I know why she is blind to what hope brings

I know why she is incapable of these things



The other birds have all abandoned her

She is not a dove or a swan

No beauty for the light to shine on


God, I know why but I can’t help her

Because I am also a prisoner

Refugee of my thoughts

Captive of my heart

I can never fix the mangle, mold it into something better

So I bury myself in the shade of my cage

To await death’s laughter



There is no love for me

beyond bars the lying stars

rain acid on my dreams

singe my feathers and burn my beak

no tweet or sing to be sung

for the lonely birdy out on her own

without a flock

I know why she calls him back

The sorrowful raven with promises of tomorrow

Longing to trust all the black parts of him

I know why, stiff and dead

She points her head to the rising sun

And waits for love

that will not come


ever been kidnapped
by a poet
if i were a poet
i’d kidnap you

put you in my phrases
and meter you to jones beach
or maybe coney island
or maybe just to my house

lyric you in lilacs
dash you in the rain
alliterate the beach
to complement my see

play the lyre for you
ode you with my love song
anything to win you
wrap you in the red Black green
show you off to mama

yeah if i were
a poet i’d kid
nap you

Nikki Giiovanni