Untouched and Unspoken

Featured image: Bird-Cage, by Charles Hunter Coffield (1889)

I speak in hushed tones so they don’t hear me breathe
My tongue tied in a noose around my neck
My words have no freedom, they will lock me in a cage

I am a foreigner here
A death wish held in my throat,
if I trust you I’ll tell it

Freedom is a puppet for which they pull the strings
In an instant the strings will turn into chains

They have created monsters with angels wings
The trembling of a child overcomes me as I look to the sky

Breath is only for the worthy
What makes you worthy anyways?

They have turned me into the devil and painted me red

No words are safe, no one is a friend

Even now, I’m afraid to put words on the page


Natalie Ring is a freshman in the Marquette English department. Natalie is a member of the Marquette women’s volleyball team and enjoys writing poetry and spending time with her family.

Coffield, Charles Hunter. Bird-Cage, patent, September 3, 1889; [Washington D.C.]. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth172148/: accessed January 13, 2024), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.