“The Scent of Spring,” by Dennis D. Thomas

Dennis Thomas writes…

“This poem is an attempt to describe to someone who has never done “a bid” or what is most commonly known as hard-time.

It is very depressing and unnatural and my use of “spring” as a metaphor for freedom and “scent” as a metaphor for hope is obvious to only those who have had the experience. Although other prisoners weren’t my intended audience, I know that they also will benefit from having their experience put into words. Us prisoners know how we have to put a gloss on our lives behind bars so that we won’t grieve our loved ones or cause them to worry too much about us. We constantly tell little white lies like “I’m fine” or “everything is okay,” when in reality we’re doing all we can to keep it together.

For anyone who’s done hard time, they remember when they reached that point where s/he felt that s/he had no one to depend upon. For me and (I’m quite sure) many others, our helplessness is mitigated by the dependability of the seasons. No matter what, fall will always follow summer and spring will always follow winter. Knowing this helps me get through my darkest moments.”

-Dennis D. Thomas

The scent of spring
Brings to mind
A time when life was green
Reviving memories
Of a place
Where I sowed as I please
But here I’m teased
By this breeze
Upon which I smell a scent
For it sows
Seeds of discontent
As the seasons pass
(with no relent)
My vigor fades
The new day
Brings no change
A dry stalk that
yields no grain
This barren field
Devoid of growth
Where the truth is buried
So no one can know
My mental vines are bound
No room to bud or flower
No chance of sprouting forth
My shoots are stepped on
As if they have no worth
My hope
Grows dormant
While my tears
Come down in torrents
Because I labor to no avail
Spring is a season meant for
new beginnings
But until this sentence
Comes to an ending
Spring is just a scent I smell.