Gwendolyn Werdin

Scotland, a second time, various places, January 2001

The volcanic rock gives birth to the castle, and the rest of the city sort of tumbles
away from it, a naturally occurring profusion of buildings, medieval and Victorian.
Your roommate does that most American of things--find a familiar chain restaurant.
(Grudgingly--Pizza Hut tastes like home.)
The other roommates take up a collection and buy a pair of jeans for a homeless guy.

You write your best lines in letters to your boyfriend, except when considering Iona,
where, at a time predetermined by gods, the clouds open and sun drenches the
squat gray stones of the abbey below the Tor. Three white doves take flight.
You think maybe the gods are overdoing it, but perhaps trinities are trinities.

Everyone is tired of the bus, so you sit in a dark pub with Polk, somewhere
in the Cairngorms, and eat thick, barley-rich soup. You wish you could remember what you
talked about, but the memory is a vague, warm spot.
Dark wood. Colored glass lanterns. A mirror behind the bar. Shedding dampness.

You spend the month trying to find that magical, stormy June, but you are too
different. Besides, there is little enchantment in youth hostel bathrooms with
windows that do not close.

Wendy Werdin is currently a student in Hamline University’s MFA program. Poetry baffles her, but she writes it anyway.

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