Letter to a Bird Trapped in a Subway Tunnel – a poem by Sean Lynch

Letter to a Bird Trapped in a Subway Tunnel

Inside the subway station
I write a letter
to the frantic bird who’s flying
to and fro,
“You have forgotten by this point
that the world is open on the outside.
That there is endless space.
Space that the sky represents.
You have forgotten fresh air.
You have forgotten trees.
Your little lungs grow spastic
as you tilt your head
absurdly standing centimeters tall
on a gray subway platform.
You have broken my heart, bird.
This would have never happened
if we weren’t here. Humans have doomed you.
You are God trapped in our small minds
searching for a way out.
You are an embodiment
of our existence
and that, for human beings
escape is possible
but improbable.”
The train arrives
and I leave behind the letter
on the metal bench
for the lost bird to build
a nest with and perhaps
find some rest down there.


Sean Lynch is a working-class poet who lives in South Philly. His poems have been published in various journals including (parenthetical), Chrysanthemum, and Poetry Quarterly. He’s the author of three chapbooks, the latest being 100 Haiku, published in 2018 by Moonstone Press. You can find out more on swlynch.com

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