The castle was one of the first the Normans built.
Its earthen motte rises some fifty feet
or so above this late Victorian pond –
the keep, with its Romanesque windows,
built from local golden Bargate stone and strips
of knapped flint for decoration, fifty more.
As yet she is innocent of all that –
only what moves, makes noise, can be held, climbed
or eaten: like the lemon drizzle cake
a pair of lovers offers her; like the steps
by the pond she ascends and descends;
its railings; the quack-quacks; a helicopter;
the solar powered fountains, whose comings
and goings she points at excitedly.
And the people, who all, multi-ethnic,
cross-generational, reciprocating or not,
deserving or otherwise, receive
a pristine smile and a disarming wave
from within these ramparts.