Pray tell, good sir,
in words quick with haste
your soul is not
bitter upon first taste.

Grant this comfort seed
Before tragedy dire
that beneath iced shell
Burns impassioned fire.

Pray tell a man's heart beats
yet unconquered by ill-used time,
longing for beauty's grace,
regretting every sinless crime.

Confess, good sir,
in humbling moans and pleas --
inside your cage
you've stashed away the keys...

Lilian Leader
July 2006