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we hope in vain
for ice cream weather
for our saturday trip
to the city that’s closed
down until easter,
all its phone numbers
in some kind of concerted
conspiracy to deter
the casual visitor.

its castle a keep
of plain kentish dignity,
barricaded and out of bounds,
its tours suspended till spring,
its history on hold
for fairer weather,
paused, a video buffering,
an intermission imposed
by seasonal strictures
and budget constraints.

king john can wait another week
for the tourists to trail
haphazardly through his ramparts
and pass cavalier judgement
on his erstwhile citadel.

Photo of Rochester Castle by Belinda.