Your birthday in the quiet
days just after Christmas.
The castle you wanted to visit
that no one local had heard of,
and, when we got there
it was early closing day.
We sat in the cafe,
wandered the grounds,
both sick, our various ailments
held at bay like the rain,
always threatening to come
down and fill the trees’ expectant arms.
Or at least I remember it that way
and how we found a weeping willow tree,
a green castle when we stepped inside.
The shadowed light, the rough trunk
just waiting to be caught in your embrace.
by Ciaran Parkes
Editor’s Note: This poem’s careful enjambment and delicately drawn narrative offers the reader a glimpse of how to make the best of something imperfect.