Trapped in this cage,
Am I justified to feel rage?
or should I use this experience as fuel to ignite a blaze,
a scorching inferno burning, turning all the hate to ashes,
where justice applies to all, not just those in the lower classes,
But is it really Justice, where the symbol they use is blind?
The endless cycle of poverty,
Consumerism used as a tool to enslave my mind.
Poverty, just like robbery, it should be labeled as a crime.
Resources stripped from our communities, it strengthens yours,
while it weakens mine. Now you wonder why I’m mad.
Violent tendencies to express my anger, those who should protect me.
I run because in them I sense danger.
I’m still trapped in this cage, but no, it’s not of the physical kind.
It’s your multifaceted master plan – tools you use to enslave my mind.


  1. Sofia Bushen on May 16, 2018 at 8:34 PM

    Dear AD,

    I have definitely felt your experience through your poem. Keep up the great work. I look forward to reading your poems.

  2. Christopher Dylan on May 21, 2018 at 3:37 PM

    Beautiful and heartbreaking. It made me cry. You have a good ability to keep thoughts coherent while still sticking to the rhyming structure. The rhymes never felt corny. And good internal rhymes too. Luckily, it doesn’t sound like you’re letting your mind be enslaved. I wonder, though, if you really need to make a choice between feeling that your anger is justified and using every opportunity in your life to dispel hatred from your own mind, that is if I interpreted you correctly. Keep writing!

  3. April on May 21, 2018 at 9:39 PM

    You are remarkably intelligent and very in-tune with your emotions. And that’s why this poem is so powerful. Reminds me of an old Bob Marley lryic: emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind. The part where you talk about burning all the hate to ashes really struck me. Keep writing.

  4. Molly on May 24, 2018 at 6:36 PM

    I like this complicated poem even though it is depressing. The rhyming is really clever: ashes/classes is good, and I like the internal rhymes too, like “inferno burning, turning all hate.” The repetition of “trapped in this cage” works well here, starting with an actual cage, e.g. a cell, and then moving into a mental cage, which reminds you of the famous poem by Richard Lovelace “To Althea in Prison” which has the lines “Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.” What’s sad about this poem is all the frustration caught up in these rhymes. You feel that even if he got out of prison, he still wouldn’t be free, and how can you free yourself if your mind isn’t free? Hard realization. And, yes, justified to feel rage. I hope using the experience to ignite a mental blaze, not a real one!

  5. Nikayla Kirchner on April 23, 2020 at 5:24 PM

    Hi AD! This poem is fantastically written, and the depth and description of your anguish at the system is almost tangible. I love how you refer to using your anguish and pain as a tool of defiance against the system, especially when you say in line 3 “or should I use this experience as fuel to ignite a blaze;” Definitely manifest your pain into both poetry and into activism!

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