There is a house on Grange Road, near the bottom on the south side.
I think that’s a clue that herein lies a secret…
one hundred what?
A hundred-year-old witch?
A princess asleep for one hundred years?
one hundred years of solitude?
Meanwhile, a forest is growing
A tall frangipani is tangled to the top
in wisteria, jasmine and rose.
A great dark puriri leers
The brown wooden gate has been pulled off it’s hinges by ivy
and mixed vines half smother the peeling garage.
The hedge is so weedy and overgrown that I’d need to be riding a horse to see over it.
The garden path forks as you step down round a corner.
One way is clearly more travelled –
the other, houses the bins, but used to go round the back.
Once tidy hydrangeas and lasiandras, now wild and wonderful,
almost obscure everything.
but peering through like a wondering prince
I can still see sturdy brown posts
and much mildewed cream weatherboards, fret work and finials splotched by lichen.
Two rough brick chimneys tower like turrets
on either side, the other houses carefully pretend nothing is going on
Their hedges are trimmed ship-shape,
Their stone walls are chiselled to weedless perfection:
“We don’t hold with that sort of thing”, they say.
“Not in this demographic!”
So of course, princess and all, it simply doesn’t exist.