The Garde du Nord was frantic,
The night I took the sleeper east,
My destination Budapest,
Wishing you could fly in from Nice,
Too long we both had waited,
Me delaying, fearing the worst,
Yet as the stench of false freedom faded,
I travelled unfazed and unrehearsed.
’56 had seen Soviet tanks,
Destroy any glimmer of hope,
Within whose confines our love had bloomed,
Looking back how did we cope?
The lucky ones escaped they say,
From the stamp of Mother Russia’s boots,
Yet what kind of freedom is it,
When you leave behind your roots?
I had heard your Riviera days,
Were not without sweet sorrow,
And I kept the keepsake your family sent,
I held on to it like no tomorrow.
Yet now several decades later,
A Warsaw Pact no more,
Impedes our right to be here again,
And to savour lost passions roar.
At journey’s end I delayed,
With thoughts of just you inside my head,
And on Heroes Square I spread your ashes,
You, my lover, long since dead.