Life Sentence

by Tom Bajoras

Twenty years in a cage
with my father, until he died.
My widowed mother told me of how
she crept into our cage on a moonless night
and discovered one of us sobbing in his sleep
and singing the words that he was dreaming.
She also told me of how
in the morning his eyes were
wide and full of love,
but she coughed and changed the subject
to the weather or sports—
I don’t remember which.