I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill;
Of things unknown but are longed for still,
And her voice is heard on a far-off hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.
I have loved this poem for a long time. As a fellow survivor of child abuse, I can connect with what Maya said in these words. I have many scars on my body as a result of the first 22 violent years of my life, and whenever I saw them I would remember the incident that caused it. I see tattoos as positive scars, and with the bird tattoo I’m especially happy as it’s the first colour tattoo I have. Sometimes I feel like I’m wasting my time as an activist – that I’m shouting into the void. But I shout for freedom – for disabled, survivors of abuse, the ageing, people of colour, and LGBT+ people to be treated better than they currently are. Freedom shouldn’t feel like an impossible dream to me. I hope this tattoo will remind me to keep going; keep on singing.
The tattoo was done by Tracy at Pride Tattoos, http://pridetattoos.webeden.co.uk
P.S – the snowflake above the bird was my first ever tattoo done in 2005.