Even before he opened the cell door,
before wakeful dread had released its hold
over his innocent foolishness, he heard
the sound of lilacs gathered in the Spring.
Was this a moment when fellowship’s glint
shone in the eyes of the unloved, reaching
from Winter doorways in frost covered rags
to the chink of cocktails on the chaise longue?
Or did the men mock, triumphant to see
un-heeding wealth brought low to share the shame;
bitter where no seasons brought their blossoms
and where love was a threat to survival?
Worse did he hear in that soft melody
a murderous threat from men who could live
only with hatred burning in scorched hearts?
He shuddered and stepped on to the landing.