Photo of a white old bird cage amidst light green tree foliage

‘The Hidden Thing’ by Monty

The Hidden Thing

It is something that sits with you
deep in your chest.
A weight that sinks your heart
to the bottom of yourself.

It’s a bird in a cage
under a tarp
unable to sing out.
You are desperate to free it
but so afraid.
There are so many things out there
waiting to tear it apart
to dissect it and claim:
‘This isn’t real!
Go back inside
your cage, little bird.’

It’s a cloak you wear
not to disguise yourself
but to keep yourself safe.
To stay hidden and protected
and warm. But every little scratch,
every sharp barb or cutting word
weakens the fabric until
you don’t know how long
it will hold.

It’s digging and scratching urgently
for something to hold onto
six feet under an avalanche
of rubble.

It’s finding a polished gem
amongst the dirt
and holding it close
despite the fact no one else
can see its worth.
No one else can see
why it gives you hope.

It’s putting a name to something
others would leave in anonymity,
something that is yours
and yours alone.
It leaves you exposed and vulnerable
and yet it comforts you.
It makes you real.
It brings the truth of you
into the world.

Photo of a white old bird cage amidst light green tree foliage

About the author

Monty uses they/them pronouns and lives in rural Victoria. They’re a freelance writer and blogger who can’t stop talking about birds, mythology, and vampires.

Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash.

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