Caged Bird / Writing Contest


{The free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream
till the current ends and dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to
claim the sky}
—-Maya Angelou

Antonio Frasconi/photo credit.

“I know what’s different about you,” I say to my sister on our last walk.

“What?” She smiles with those big pink lips. The kind of lips women envy.

“You don’t need me like you used to. I like that. I like that you’re finally
sliding into your own skin. When do you sign the divorce papers?”

“In a couple weeks.” She says.

She skips ahead of me. Her long brown hair flowing behind her like a kind of

“I can’t wait to start my own life!” She squeals. “Hurry, get over here and
grab my hand.”

We pray right there in the middle of the trail. We pray for transformations
and smooth departures.

We pray for still waters and flourishing futures.


My sister never got the chance to sign those divorce papers.

Her soon to be ex-husband murdered her two days after that walk.

We were going to have a surprise shower for her.

An “Emancipation Shower.” A “New Beginnings Shower.”

Candles & Cosmopolitans. Salsa & Sangria. Sushi & Sex and The

We were going to fill her new home with love, love, love.

So much love that she would drown inside of it, swallow it whole.

We were going to watch chick flicks until we were chick flicked out.

We talked about painting her living room funky colors like bubblegum pink,
lemony lime, or crazy cranberry.

None of that happened.

He left work early on May 26th.

He said he had business to attend to, appointments to keep, phone calls to

He sat on the couch like a demon-devil.



He was never a man, so I shall call him The Murderer.

After all, that’s what he became in the end.

The Beretta pistol was so minuscule, the murderer could conceal easily inside
the palm of his hand.

I imagine he rubbed the iron between his fingers anticipating her absence,
his absence, his final control.

I imagine he tasted the metal upon his toxic tongue.

I presume he was prepared to go strait to HELL.

My sister came home from work at about 5:00 pm.

She had the same routine every day of the week.

She’d change from scrubs to walking clothes, hoist her hair in a high
ponytail. She’d call our dad to meet her on the Waterfront Trail.

“I’ll see you on the trail in five minutes, Dad.”

Her last words. Her final beautiful breaths.

And mine.

You see, we were tangled and twisted together as one.

The same blood from the same root.

The same heart.

He had already locked the front door so she couldn’t escape.

Perhaps he uttered a prayer to whomever murderers utter prayers to. Perhaps
he gave last rights to himself.

I often wonder why God didn’t intervene. Why He’d allow the cage to remain

There were two options. She stayed with him or she died with him.

He placed the gun to the back of her head as she walked out the door.

And shot once…twice…and a third time.

He had to make damn sure my sister never gained consciousness, had to make
certain she couldn’t fly away.

He then wrapped his arms around her like a snake and shot himself in the
right temple.

I remember asking my husband a few months later, “Did he really kill Kay? Is
it true?”

He said, “Yes, it is true.

“Then why am I breathing? Why am I walking? How can my heart still beat?”

People have frequently alleged that a caged bird sings.

I don’t believe it. I’ll never believe it.

The caged bird cannot sing until she is set free; she cannot form a pleasing
melody of verse until the cage is swung wide open.

Only then will she sing her sweet song of freedom. Only then will her wings
reach the orange of the sun’s rays.

Sometimes in my dreams, I hear my sister singing.

I see her hair flowing like a dark water through air.

I call out her name.

“Kay.    Kay.    Kay.

Where are you? Why didn’t you tell me you were leaving?”

“You know where I am.” She whispers softly, slowly…

Like a feather falling.

And I smile.

Because I know she is finally free.

Flying. Flying. Flying.

My Sister Kay was Murdered on May 26, 2010.  Everything changed in one. solitary.  moment.

Dear. Readers, this essay is featured on a  writing contest on Here Women Talk.  You can click  HERE to vote for me if you like the piece. <3   Thank You! Xxxpink lips


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103 Responses to Caged Bird / Writing Contest

  1. Kim Pugliano says:

    He killed himself?!?! What a fucking COWARD! How dare he! I never knew actual story.

    You need to write a book.
    Kim Pugliano recently posted..Comment on Book Review – Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation by NamiMy Profile

  2. elizabeth says:

    Kim- This just broke my heart again and again.

    love you, my brave darling friend.

    I voted for you and Kay.


  3. Katy Clark says:

    I voted. And as always when I hear her story – I cried for your sister, and your family and his. Much love your way…if I could send healing, I would, but I’m not sure a wound that raw, that deep can heal.
    Katy Clark recently posted..K8EDID’s Incredibly Tasteless Greeting CardsMy Profile

  4. jen says:

    I voted, you know I would, but i could barely see the little button thru my tears! Damn kim I just want to hug you!
    jen recently and gutsMy Profile

  5. Monica says:

    Oh, Kim, the way you’ve written it, it’s so gripping. I wish you could go back in time and change the course. I wish you knew then what you’ve known since and could warn Kay. Don’t go in the house, don’t have a fixed schedule, change one thing. Oh, Kim, the way you’ve written this, as a story, I feel the pain. Beautifully told and I’m heading to the site where I can vote for you. Hugs to you, Kim!
    Monica recently posted..Liz, Pierre and SiriMy Profile

  6. Liz says:

    You have my vote…and wishes for peace…xo
    Liz recently posted..Asparagus and Bits of Bacon…French Fridays with Dorie~My Profile

  7. Laci says:

    I love Maya Angelou. Such beautiful words.

    Gosh, I cried. I cry every single time. I feel your every word. You are such a beautiful writer Kim. With each word I could see you and Kay walking through the park and enjoying each other and life. God bless you and give you the strength to go through each and every single day. You are such an inspiration. Through you I find strenght. Thank you so much for sharing your soul with all of us.
    Laci recently posted..What Is It That They Say About the Camel and the Straw?My Profile

  8. ed pilolla says:

    i voted fer ya. he was a killer and thief, taking her away from everyone and everything she loved and wanted to live for.
    ed pilolla recently posted..Another Day In ParadiseMy Profile

  9. Awesome writing, Kim. Absolutely awesome, and you got my vote. Wish I could click more than once!!!!
    Jann Huizenga recently posted..La Settimana Santa, SicilyMy Profile

  10. Joan says:

    I voted for you, of course. This was one of the most haunting and beautiful pieces you have written.How could I not cry? I felt the scene. I pictured Kay’s last seconds though it’s impossible to really know how it was. I thought of my sister. What did they feel? Did they cry out? Did they have time for any last thoughts? Thank you for writing this one, Kim.
    Joan recently posted..Officer shot at Wal-Mart and other thoughts about loaded guns in publicMy Profile

  11. I voted, loved it. I love hearing about your interconnectedness. Love you!
    Heal Now and Forever recently posted..Allow Yourself to FeelMy Profile

  12. You have my vote, my sympathy, and my love.
    Lisha @ The Lucky Mom recently posted..Not Your Father’s Vampire NovelMy Profile

  13. I am so so sorry!

    I voted.
    Beth Zimmerman recently posted..Grief and GuiltMy Profile

  14. I voted and left this comment on your post there, Kim:
    Kim and through you Kay continues to live on and bring a voice to the voiceless – and empower many caged birds to set themselves free!
    With all my love …..
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..An Easter ReflectionMy Profile

  15. mamawolfe says:

    Your stories are the questions I cannot fathom…they cannot be answered.
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  16. Ann says:

    Vote for it if you like it? Can we vote twice if we LOVE it?! Kim, this was powerful, haunting and stunning. Truly your best piece….I sat here – stunned – after reading. Hugs always my friend….
    Ann recently posted..Strawberry SoupMy Profile

  17. Your words are beautiful, so heartfelt and moving. I had tears in my eyes as I read. I’m so sorry for such a tragic loss. I will go vote you and Kay.

    Stopping by from Write On Edge.
    The Anecdotal Baby recently posted..Post From the Past-Opinions Are Like…My Profile

  18. Vidya Sury says:

    I cry afresh every time I read about this. Caged birds sing sad songs that break your heart. Kim, you’re so beautiful and you weave words like the purest silk. I want to hold your hands in mine and tell you I feel what you’re feeling. It hurts so much because it is so unfair that the lovely Kay had her life snatched away like this. I think she reads your blog and loves you even more each day. Take strength from the memories.

    Love you, Kim. Keep writing. Let people know that they should not keep quiet. Hugs, Vidya
    Vidya Sury recently posted..Are You Assertive Enough?My Profile

  19. Lady Fi says:

    This was so very heart-breaking and moving. Beautiful writing, yet my heart breaks for your loss.
    Lady Fi recently posted..Give love a chanceMy Profile

  20. Bridget says:

    I would vote for you a hundred times over friend.

    Bridget recently posted..How Deployment FeelsMy Profile

  21. Of course I voted. How could I not.
    As usual I am hurting for and with you.
    Cyber hugs from afar.

  22. This was really such an eloquent post Kim, really loved the way you wove the bird singing and the other parts into the raw pain that you still feel. It was so moving lovely Kim xxx
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted..The Great Ocean Road: A Road Trip To South AustraliaMy Profile

  23. Kay, I am off to vote… I didn’t realize that he killed himself too…. your sisters story reminds me so much of my former neighbors sisters… Her sister too was getting a divorce from her husband, and the same thing happened. The only difference was their two young daughters found their parents when they came home from school. Fortunately for the girls, my neighbor and her husband flew to TX and got the girls and raised them…
    Feeling Beachie recently posted..Mirror mirror on the wallMy Profile

  24. Ellen says:

    Sometimes details aren’t important – sometimes. In this case, they make his actions more vile, more despicable, and more cowardly. In this case, they highlight Kay’s sense of self-worth. She chose herself when she chose to walk out that door.

    I vote for you, and for Kay. xoxo
    Ellen recently posted..Flash Fiction Two-for-OneMy Profile

  25. lisa says:

    Would vote twice if I could.
    I wish you a blessed Easter, my Friend.
    lisa recently posted..Gardenia & Focus StackingMy Profile

  26. totsymae1011 says:

    Damn, Kim. You know, I wondered about it all and read a good deal when I was preparing to paint the portrait. Some things should never happen, you know. Reading this just makes you sit and think for a good while and ask why. At her happiest moment, this visual you give, you just ask why. I so wish this wasn’t a story you had to share, however beautifully written.

    I’m going to vote now.

    Blessings and Hugs.
    totsymae1011 recently posted..I Do Believe A Clothesline Is In OrderMy Profile

  27. Patricia says:


    This is so moving and heart-breaking at the same time. You’re a great sister and I’m sure your sister is watching over you. All the best with the submission.

  28. Ameena says:

    I had no idea that he’d killed himself too…not sure why I always assumed he was in prison?

    This is unbelievable. My heart goes out to you. Not sure what else to say my friend.
    Ameena recently posted..prioritiesMy Profile

  29. Raw and amazing post. Of Course I voted for you! Much love Chica. Much much love.
    Theresa Sonoda recently posted..Sara’s Sleep PostponedMy Profile

  30. How is it possible to feel happy – at Kay’s upcoming uncagedness, fearstricken, heartbroken, and too frickin’ furious for words, all at the same time? For a woman I have never met, except through your stories?

    Because you have that gift, Kim. You have the gift and now, the duty, to sing not only for yourself, but for Kay because she cannot. You do it so well that though it often makes me cry to come here, I would never stay away.
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  31. Amber says:

    Your strength is remarkable, especially because it is still so recent. <3
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  32. Pure Complex says:

    I said it once, and I will say it again.. you have a voice that can help so many people. You definitely inspire me. I am headed to vote now and I hope you win. You have a story that everyone should read
    Pure Complex recently posted..Happy EasterMy Profile

  33. Stasha says:

    This must have been so hard for you to write. It is however a wonderful piece of writing. Many hugs xo
    Stasha recently posted..Monday ListiclesMy Profile

  34. “Her last words. Her final beautiful breaths.

    And mine.”

    That was the moment for me.

    You will always have my vote beautiful Kim – xo
    Kelly @ Inspired Edibles recently posted..Roasted Salmon in a Strawberry-Balsamic ReductionMy Profile

  35. Sandy Webb says:

    A beautiful piece Kim. I voted for you!
    I have missed reading your stuff.
    Sandy Webb recently posted..Standing Up Again….My Profile

  36. Caroline says:

    Kim, this broke my heart reading the story again. I had no idea he killed himself as well…what an absolute idiot and coward. I can’t believe it. He just took the easy way out. I’ll head over to vote now. Sending lots of hugs your way. xx
    Caroline recently posted..spring things. [pork tenderloin w. grilled pineapple salsa]My Profile

    • Kim Sisto-Robinson says:

      Thank You <3

      & also thank you for being a great distraction from my mourning w/ your yummy food. Xx

  37. Brenda says:

    As always, you tear at my heart with your story. I am ever speechless but know in my heart I wish you joy and peace. Love, B.
    Brenda recently posted..HeartburnMy Profile

  38. Unknown Mami says:

    You are an amazing writer and that is how your song manifests.
    Unknown Mami recently posted..Piggy SlideMy Profile

  39. Hotly Spiced says:

    That is such a tragic story but it is so beautifully written. I will definitely give you a vote! xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..‘Knock Yourself Out’My Profile

  40. nikky44 says:

    You’re SO lucky Kim to have had her in your life, so so lucky. I know you would have preferred to have her physically with you for a longer time, but things don’t always happen the way we want them to. I can guarantee you that you made her life beautiful just by being part of it, exactly like she did for you, and you are honoring her every single day by the efforts you are putting to help others. I will check again why I am not getting a notification for your emails. I don’t want to miss anything. I’m grateful for Sandy who gave me the link. Love you
    nikky44 recently posted..Happy EasterMy Profile

  41. I could not wait for the page to load so I could vote for you Kim. Can we vote more than once?
    Your words are extremely powerful and paint such a vivid picture! I know I always say it but yor keep Kay’s beautiful memory alive with each word that you write.
    :-) Mandy xo
    Mandy – The Complete Cook Book recently posted..The Pleasures of the Table 2My Profile

  42. Blond Duck says:

    Voting! That’s just so sad….
    Blond Duck recently posted..HuntingMy Profile

  43. Kimberly says:

    The same root….
    Oh Kim, please don’t ever stop writing about your sister.
    Women need to know.
    I love you.
    Kimberly recently posted..Secret Mommy-hood Confession SaturdayMy Profile

  44. Of course I voted. I feel so fortunate that I was able to get away from an ex who was every bit as evil as your sister’s cowardly murderer, and so sad that she was so close to her escape before he took that away from her – and her away from you. You have such a beautiful way with words – I’m sure that Kay is singing brightly with all you do for her memory. ((HUGZ!!))
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  45. Kimmy says:

    Kimmy you are my number one everything! You have such a beautiful talent for writing from your heart. I’m so very proud if you. Kay will never be forgotten nor will others before her or others in the future. But because of your fierce love for Kay and in hopes of saving others by your writing and getting word around the world many lives will be saved. Hopefully all. You are very loved and supported!! Love you K

  46. Your writings are so powerful. I always look forward to reading them. I see from the comment above that Kay’s birthday is tomorrow. I’ll be thinking about you.

    PS. All 3 50 Shades books were finished within a week.!
    Impulsive Addict recently posted..I Embarrass Myself For You. You’re Welcome.My Profile

  47. Julia says:

    I just cannot exress enough how your words are so touching. I hold back tears when I read them. My heart goes out to you.

  48. It is indeed a heartbreaking story. I never thought it is about a true story until I reached the middle part of the story. There shall be no man like him on Earth. Too bad. Hugs for you.
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  49. Lovely! Best of luck with all. :)
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  50. Pamela says:

    Very powerful and absolutely fabulous, Kim!
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  51. Lady E says:

    There. I’ve voted.
    And this is one f your best posts.
    Love xxx
    Lady E recently posted..Foolishness World ChampionshipsMy Profile

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