Freedom! Freedom?

My wife, excited, called to me “Come and see.”
A bird of bright fluorescent yellow-green,
upon provided millet seed, was feeding hungrily.
His brilliant plumage made all others drab and mean.

A sound, a movement caused all other birds to take
to wing, abandoning food for safety, but not he, not he.
Alone, unaware of danger, he remained to calmly partake
of life-saving food. His hunger was extreme, plain to see.

For many minutes he devoured his fill of blessed seed.
Finally, hunger satiated, this magnificent creature flew -
with dazzling display of beauty - far away. He will need
much luck to survive long in the hostile wild; this I knew.

For he, someone’s pet cockatiel, must had grown jealous
of wild birds outside his window, envying their freedom
to soar to the heights, to touch the sun and moon. Envious,
he has seized an opportunity to flee confinement, boredom.

At first how he must have reveled in newfound freedom -
having traded his cramped quarters for the wide outdoors,
now flying higher, farther than ever except in the kingdom
of his dreams. Freedom! Glorious freedom! What more?

But all too quickly freedom must have begun losing luster,
as thirst, then hunger awakened. Poorly adapted to survive
outside his pampered environment, somehow he must muster
dormant instinctive skills to locate food, danger to stay alive.

This freedom will likely be brief, his demise sudden, soon.
With such bright plumage, against Nature’s backdrop, he
does shine, like against the nighttime sky does a full moon.
With catching all eyes, a tasty meal for hawk or cat will he be.

With hunger, thirst, unrecognized predators, the cold at night,
this freedom is no paradise. One can only wonder if he will
die happy at having known a brief taste of freedom or might
he wish to be enjoying the comfort and safety of his cage still.

Harry Edward Gilleland      10.23.02