the dream house

at first no one noticed anything strange
about her language

when she talked about the house

I’ve fallen in love with the place
she would say it was love at first sight
I am completely obsessed with it

people just smiled and let her go on about its dual
aspect bedrooms and how it boasted
a moulded architrave cornice

and segmental pediment a flagstone fireplace flanked by
Doric pilasters with window seats shutters and easy-to-vacuum
polished teak floor boards

but by the time she reached the carved oak cantilevered
staircase providing a dramatic centrepiece with sturdy balusters
and thick square newels

their smiles would waver a little
and they’d have to think of polite ways
to escape from the conversation

by then her eyes would have glazed over slightly as she explained
about the massive stone arch
which carries the weight of the central chimney stack

grabbing her interlocutors arm she would urgently whisper
that the driveway is approached
through honey-coloured gate piers

her cheeks flushing pink at the thought of the sunken
lawn bordered by ground covering plants to the front of the house
a south facing herbaceous border with a wide variety of perennials and evergreens

with tears in her eyes she’d reveal that beyond the kitchen garden’s yew hedging there was
but the quiet of a delightful spinney which adjoins open countryside bounded
only by a long-winded brook

that a stone pillared veranda
provides shelter on drizzly days
that she had thought love was a delusion until she found

the one

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