Caged Bird

By Kim Robinson

{The free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky}—-Maya Angelou

“I know what’s different about you,” I say to my sister on our last walk.
“What?” She smiles with those big pink lips.  The kind of lips women envy.
“You don’t need me like you used to.  I like that. I like that you’re finally sliding into your own skin. When do you sign the divorce papers?”
“In a couple weeks.” She says.

She skips ahead of me.  Her long brown hair flowing behind her like a kind of freedom.

“I can’t wait to start my own life!”  She squeals.  “Hurry, get over here and grab my hand.”

We pray right there in the middle of the trail.  We pray for transformations and smooth departures.

We pray for still waters and flourishing futures.

My sister never got the chance to sign those divorce papers.

Her soon to be ex-husband murdered her two days after that walk.
We were going to have a surprise shower for her.

An “Emancipation Shower.”   A “New Beginnings Shower.”

Candles & Cosmopolitans.   Salsa & Sangria.   Sushi & Sex and The City.
We were going to fill her new home with love, love, love.

So much love that she would drown inside of it,  swallow it whole.

We were going to watch chick flicks until we were chick flicked out.
We talked about painting her living room funky colors like bubblegum pink, lemony lime,  or crazy cranberry.

None of that happened.
He left work early on May 26th.

He said he had business to attend to, appointments to keep, phone calls to make.

He sat on the couch like a demon-devil.



He was never a man, so I shall call him The Murderer.
After all, that’s what he became in the end.
The Beretta pistol was so minuscule, the murderer could conceal easily inside the palm of his hand.

I imagine he rubbed the iron between his fingers anticipating her absence, his absence, his final control.

I imagine he tasted the metal upon his toxic tongue.

I presume he was prepared to go strait to HELL.
My sister came home from work at about 5:00 pm.

She had the same routine every day of the week.

She’d change from scrubs to walking clothes,  hoist her hair in a high ponytail.  She’d call our dad to meet her on the Waterfront Trail.
“I’ll see you on the trail in five minutes, Dad.”
Her last words. Her final beautiful breaths.
And mine.

You see, we were tangled and twisted together as one.

The same blood from the same root.

The same heart.
He had already locked the front door so she couldn’t escape.

Perhaps he uttered a prayer to whomever murderers utter prayers to. Perhaps he gave last rights to himself.
I often wonder why God didn’t intervene. Why He’d allow the cage to remain closed.
There were two options. She stayed with him or she died with him.
He placed the gun to the back of her head as she walked out the door.

And shot once…twice…and a third time.

He had to make damn sure my sister never gained consciousness, had to make certain she couldn’t fly away.

He  then wrapped his arms around her like a snake and shot himself in the right temple.

I remember asking my husband a few months later,  “Did he really kill Kay?  Is it true?”

He said, “Yes,  it is true.

“Then why am I breathing?  Why am I walking?  How can my heart still beat?”

People have frequently alleged that a caged bird sings.

I don’t believe it.  I’ll never believe it.

The caged bird cannot sing until she is set free; she cannot form a pleasing melody of verse until the cage is swung wide open.
Only then will she sing her sweet song of freedom. Only then will her wings reach the orange of the sun’s rays.
Sometimes in my dreams, I hear my sister singing.

I see her hair flowing like a dark water through air.

I call out her name.

“Kay.        Kay.      Kay.

Where are you?   Why didn’t you tell me you were leaving?”

“You know where I am.”  She whispers softly, slowly…

Like a feather falling.

And I smile.

Because I know she is finally free.

Flying.   Flying.   Flying.


Kim Sisto Robinson is a writer, activist,  and a poet.

She is extremely passionate about women’s issues, especially domestic violence.

Her greatest influences have been the rebellious literary women from the 60’s such as Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, & Erica Jong.

Kim created the blog My Inner Chick last year in memory of her sister, Kay, who was murdered by her soon-to-be ex husband in 2010.

”I will  spend the remainder of my days advocating for women without a voice.

Kay was silenced, but she still lives through me.  I am now her VOICE. I will be her voice until we are united once again.”

–My website is


  1. In her mind she was free. That’s why a caged bird sings. Because physically is the only way someone could keep you trapped. She knew love and she had a plan. She had you. xoxo

  2. Kim -Sisto Robinson

    Love Love Love.

    Thank you to all of you for helping me see flickers of light thru the darkness hours.

    I love you <3

    • I love it, I don’t know why I never get notifications when you post something new.

  3. A vote for you with all my love.

  4. Kim, You will always keep Kay alive in our hearts on this earth
    until we see her again in heaven.
    Love You

  5. Emotional and powerful writing. This story serves as a voice for so many women who should share it with their daughters. I will.

  6. I once read that someone is not gone until they are no longer remembered. If this is true, you have given Kay a new life with so many people. Hurting with you, grieving for her.

  7. Gorgeous Kim and Kay – Straight from the heart. So genuine. Kind. Loving. Caring. Lovable. Your voice is powerful. (Hoping that Lady Gaga hears it soon!) I am so proud to know you! Hugs, Vidya

  8. Kim and through you Kay continues to live on and bring a voice to the voiceless – and empower many caged birds to set themselves free!

  9. My heart is in my stomach, and my eyes are wet. You have a gift, my friend.

  10. As usual, so powerful a voice and a storyteller. Telling her story so that others may hear and act, and not wait until it is too late. I am in awe of your voice.



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