Why the Caged Bird Sings – Sarah Ritter

Today I sit with my loneliness. I do not push it away, try to smother it, or ignore it. Instead I accept it. I try to understand it. I wrap my arms around, to find the expanse of it, to see just how far it stretched. I peer deep inside to search the depth of it, to see if I can find the molten lava drenched core of it all. Sitting alongside my loneliness, feels like sitting with an old familiar friend. It’s just my thoughts and constant longing for companionship. I don’t tell myself to cheer up. I don’t tell the feeling to go away.

But after a while, I feel discontent in my idle state. I know I need to get on with my day. I understand it is ok to feel this way sometimes and I assure myself tomorrow will be better. But for now, I have things to do, that I must focus on. I welcome the distraction.

Tomorrow comes and yet the loneliness just feels more persistent. Like yesterday’s current just flowed into today’s delta. I try again to accept this loneliness but realized I have not gained any glimpses of enlightenment from my last contemplation. So once again, I carry on.

I sit amongst my chattering peers, pretending to be a part of the social event which surrounds me. I feel that I am neither part of, nor excluded from the outside world. I’m hanging out on the outskirts of inclusion, and the fringes of participation. Though I long to be a part of the social commodity surrounding me, I still feel detached. I’m trying to hang on to the conversation threads I grasp at but doing so leaves me tired and sore.

It’s so quiet in my world void of verbal interactive conversation, in this self-consumed world where I only answer to my own thoughts.  The background chatter fades to a dull, barely noticeable humming. But my thoughts echo throughout my head, till my head aches with exhaustion from hearing them. I long to hear my own voice mixed in with the chatter of conversation. I yearn to pulse with the sparks of connection, to be flooded with the waves of happiness and to feel the oppressive weight of loneliness lifted. So now, I know why the caged bird sings.


Sarah Ritter is a writer and poet whose first poetry collection “Inspirations, Transformations and Revelations: A Poetic Expression of My Personal Journey,” was published in March 2019. In her spare time she writes for her online blog and creates homemade greeting cards.

You can read more of her writing at Sarah Ritter’s Revelations…A Collection of My Poems & Short Stories

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