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A Caged Confession

loosely inspired by "Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou

By Leann EvansPublished 8 months ago 4 min read
a representation of freedom


There’s something I’ve never told you.

If I’m honest, I don’t know how to tell you.

I love you.

I’ll always love you.

You’re my mom. You gave birth to me.

You sat on the steps and listened to me breathe when I was in my crib, too small to know anything at all.

You rubbed my throat when I swallowed that gold necklace. I was choking, but you gave me breath.

You sat behind me and held me tight as we slid down the big scary hill outside our house in winter.

You laid in bed with me at night when the Bad Man took my sister away for that dark year and you had me read the Bible to you. Saying Nebuchadnezzar right on the first try almost made me forget.

You took me to the library even when it meant weekly trips and pretending not to notice the flashlight beneath my pillow.

You laughed so hard at my silly little quips that seeing you get up and waddle to the bathroom in a fit of giggles was commonplace.

You drew figures and silhouettes with their hands shoved deep in their pockets and I grew up appreciating art. I never did learn how to draw fingers.

You made sure we had Christmases, even when it would have been easier not to. I believed in Santa Claus for so long because I knew “my parents couldn’t have afforded those things.” I was wrong.

See, there’s a lot of things you did for me, little moments I’ll remember, and memories I’ll hold dear.

I love you.

I’ll always love you.

I’m your daughter. I was raised by you.

But Mom.

There’s something I’ve never told you.

If I’m honest, I don’t plan on telling you.

I hate you.

I don’t want to.

You’re my mom. You gave birth to me.

But I couldn’t play outside like the other kids could. Your eyes had to be on me at all times.

I told my cousins I couldn’t come with them during the holidays. I had to sit next to you on the couch and listen to the adults drone on about things I didn’t need to think about yet.

I listened to you chew out Dad when he took me to the river, just the two of us. A good memory tarnished by the realization that you didn’t trust me with your own husband.

I had to tell the neighbor kids I wasn’t allowed to play. You didn’t want me in the backyard. And when Dad convinced you, you compromised by allowing them to play in our screened-in sun-porch. After ten minutes of chasing each other around our table, they left, and they never asked to play with me again.

I wasn’t allowed to go on walks, because that would mean that your eyes weren’t on me. At least, in this case, you allowed me to go if Dad went with me.

I spent my time at the amusement park pushing your wheelchair, because it was the easiest way for you to know I was behind you at all times. It was the only way you would relax enough for me to breathe.

I had to go into the same bathroom stall with you in public. It didn’t matter if I was eight or eighteen. The stress of the argument wasn’t worth it. It was easier to let you have your way than fight. Isn’t that right, Dad?

I kept my hand on the side of the grocery cart at all times. Shopping wasn’t a chore–it was an exercise in listening to your instructions while making sure I never left your sight.

I hid away when you got angry. I still remember when you screamed at my sister so loudly, so violently, that I started crying. And then you turned on me. I wasn’t allowed to cry when you were mad.

I met friends online, to make up for the ones I was only allowed to visit outside of school a few times a year. Then you took that away too. Grounded for a month because I got a ‘C’ in my worst subject. It had been the only thing keeping me going.

I was depressed. I was anxious. You know what anxiety’s like, right Mom? I told Dad. He told you. You told me that I had no reason to be sad. You said you’d call someone anyway. You never did.

I spent years sleeping on the couch in the living room, while you slept on the one across from me. My bedroom was not a sanctuary I was allowed in. My home was a prison.

See, there’s lots of damage you did to me, little moments I’ll fear, and memories I never got to have.

I hate you.

I don’t want to.

I’m your daughter. I was raised by you.

But Mom.

I’ll never stop loving you.

ChildhoodFamilySecretsTeenage yearsHumanity

About the Creator

Leann Evans

I am a twenty-four year old writer. My favorite genres to write in are fantasy and non-fiction. The best writing advice I've received thus far is: "You can't edit a blank page."

I am rather fond of bees.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

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    Original narrative & well developed characters

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