By Fiona Cassim

Helpless in my hands, a tiny bird with wings to fly,

And still I chose to keep you caged and have you by my side.

A panic in your eyes, a fluttering of your little heart,

I didn’t stop to think that I was tearing you apart.

Alone inside your cage, a prison I built out of need,

I consumed you like an addict, fuelling my greed.

Your youth and inexperience, it didn’t tell you I was wrong,

You were faithful to your captor and trusting for so long.

I cruelly cast you into this, a world of love and hate,

I stole away your innocence and told you it was fate.

I turned my back when you were lost, refused to be your guide,

Abandoned you and let you live in the shadow of my pride.

But little creatures caged too long, will soon be fully grown,

And now I see the loss too late: my little bird has flown.

I captured your heart; now it’s gone I start to weep,

But tiny hearts that long to fly, were never mine to keep.

And now I need to let you go, and be all that you can be,

I hope that you can trust the world, when all you’ve known is me.

No longer now your captor, I have thrown away the key,

And carry on without you; I have set my little bird free.

Fiona Cassim is a post graduate of UCD, married, is a contributor for the Irish Times and Irish Independent and have had a few short stories published.