Moated castle with winding stairs
and winding histories
built into your bricks,
clinging to the mortar
like the ivy that crawls over the portcullis
green and wild with the years.
Two girls grew to womanhood, here
one a mistress, one a wife
to a great Tudor king.
How could you know
as you played with your Bartholomew baby
and walked amongst the crisp, box hedges
that you would meet your end
at the hand of a Frenchman,
at the end of a swift sword blade?
Mary, were you jealous of your sister?
Or as the keen blade descended
did you pity her cruel end
and, lamenting her death
feel glad that it was not your own?
Hever stands and keeps your secrets,
but the echoes of your lives
resounds there in portraits and ink.
And another poem inspired by Hever Castle and the Boleyn girls who grew up there. This one is rather obviously focused on Anne and Mary’s relationship.