Night Music

Tonight in Cellblock Three
someone is playing Mozart.
Sweeter than tangerines the music rises
above the sound of all four showers
by the guard station

It is summer at the end of a long afternoon
which leaves us too tired for horseplay.
We stand quietly in small groups
where the cement is grooved smooth and rust-stained
from years of draining work sweat
and caustic laundry soap.

It only lasts a moment:
the space of time a guard takes
to rack the doors of sixteen cells.
But beyond the rush of stream,
the weary clang of ancient metal,
we distinctly hear the sound of children laughing.