by Patricia Wellingham-Jones.
At last, dreamed of for years,
she had her night in an Irish castle.
It was perfect. The winding approach
through woodland, small lake winking
among leaves, first glimpse
of turreted walls, broad stone stairs
rising to heavy oak doors.
The smiling doorman with an Irish
lilt in his voice wore green livery.
In the huge hall halberds and pikes
formed patterns on paneled walls.
Everything, just as she’d always dreamed.
Their room was large, the bed high,
duvet fluffed and waiting for tired bodies.
Brocade drapes with gold tasseled ties
hung from ceiling to floor, yet
something didn’t feel right.
The sense of out-of-place persisted
as they trailed through public rooms
to the dining hall, a baronial treasure.
Massive carved settles and chairs,
gilded mirrors blinking back light,
floral displays in tall brass urns
added to ambiance.
The slow creep down her spine
took the glimmer off her long-awaited joy.
And then she got it. All was new,
smooth and shiny to the touch
A few plastic surfaces where they didn’t show,
some textiles made of the latest chemicals
guaranteed to look old.
Never did her fingers touch
an ancient dent, a gauge or scratch.
No torn paper, ragged bit of cloth,
water-stained wall was to be seen.
Everything felt like something bought
at a warehouse for medieval mansions,
ready-made for the businessman
PATRICIA WELLINGHAM-JONES is a former psychology researcher and writer/editor with poetry widely published in journals, anthologies and Internet magazines. She has a special interest in healing with poems recently in The Widow’s Handbook (Kent State University Press). Chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: poems about breast cancer, End-Cycle: poems about caregiving, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, Voices on the Land and Hormone Stew.