House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

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GREEN BAY / NORTHEAST

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Map of a Castle

From Prompt No. 11 about a place. I feel like I started strong but petered out towards the end.

Map of a Castle

The castle of my imagination he grew up next to.
We were cold and hungry, stiff from sleeping
in the car. We'd drove all night. The castle was

the largest country house ever built in Scotland,
called Bog-of-Gight for its six-storey medieval
tower. My tongue clacked for a cup of tea.

My Scottish husband seethed because an officer
of Police Scotland dared. He did not trust the improbability
of our together. A student? American? Why,

he was old enough to be my father. The abruptness
of dawn rose in a mist off the hair and meadow grass.
The most inconspicuous tiny village, behind a green

door a demolished estate with its walled garden.
Walks beside the fast-flowing, leaves dark and waxy as
rhododendron. Imperious white birds gliding

elegantly as cupcakes in the dipping pond, but
preposterous next to the path. Beware of the swans,
he said, pulling me away slightly. They can be

vicious. The fuming could be muddy after
a rain. He tucked my hand in the crook
of an elbow, diverted by the scent of rosemary

hedging a nectar garden, traversing an avenue
of goblet apple and pear trees. Let us perambulate.
He laughed it off. The house could be a ruin,

but behind the wall a garden maze of rare
and rarefied, quince trees and saffron crocus,
fierce swan and contradictory men.

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