“I cannot spread my wings.”
“Leap of Faith”
Fiction. Based on a True Series of Stories.
by Leanna Glenn Markham
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.
If you never leave the cage,
you have only dreams of flight,
of updrafts and downdrafts,
of soaring and circling.
You envision roaring coastlines and
the scent of pine forests,
but instead you inhale the smell of your own waste
down at the bottom, below the bar you clutch.
It wasn’t till You called to me,
whistling in a key I knew as my own,
that I even saw the cage door stood open.
How long had it been?
And now open, will it shut again
when I draw near?
Is freedom a cruel joke, an illusion?
Is it for those I see outside,
Flitting from branch to branch and taking flight,
but not for me?
Leaving the perch unsteadies me,
but I hop over, wary, with heart pounding,
my feet clutching the rung of the door.
What if my wings do not spread
and I fall to the ground, easy prey
to devourers I cannot see?
What if I find I am not a bird at all
but some creature, faux-feathered,
never to join a flock?
You whistle to me again,
beckoning with much more than bird seed.
In your song, you’ve voiced the rhythm of my heart,
promised richer food than I can imagine,
painted landscapes in my eager mind.
As I stretch out my wings and launch,
I wager my life on the trust
that Your breath upholds me.