Ode to Underpants – Prose Poem #2 (NaPoWriMo 2018)

Isaac Orobio de Castro took you to the Castillo of Bragança, a medieval castle in North Eastern Portugal. His family originally came from this area. He had not been there since he was a child. Full of emotion he climbed the castle’s fifteen turrets to gaze at the Culebra Mountains, northeast of Porto. You wandered off to explore the grounds. There were large underpants hanging on lines, slightly off-white, from overuse, a man’s underpants with broad worn-out elastic at the waist. There were no women’s underpants. Why were there so many, did he wait until he had no more clean ones and then begrudgingly stood at the washstand, behind the kitchen, and scrubbed them with a bar of olive soap wearing his overalls and nothing else? Did he feel exposed? Had these underpants gone everywhere on these grounds? Did they venture out into the main plaza of Bragança looking at pretty women? You asked Isaac Orobio de Castro: “Who lives in those underpants”? He said “Don’t be a crazy woman”.

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