Academic journal article The Hudson Review

At Fensalden Inn

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

At Fensalden Inn

Article excerpt

Albion, California

In the Hawthorne Room, here

at the inn-once a Wells Fargo

stagecoach stop-Nathaniel, ancestor

of the innkeeper, looks to the left

in his portrait above the mantle

in a black bow tie, white collar

and jacket with two rows of buttons.

He has pensive blue eyes, dark

wavy hair. I'd call him handsome.

Wearing my scarlet sweater, I sit

at his desk and open a green book,

first edition of The Marble Faun.

He had doubts about the existence

of the "Gentle Reader," that soul

"appreciative of his success,

indulgent of his short-comings,

and, in all respects, closer

and kinder than a brother."

Outside, watercolor clouds

dissolve above the lashing sea

while black-tailed deer graze

on grass surrounding the feeder

where this morning a jay,

red-winged blackbird, and flock

of band-tailed pigeons gathered

to bicker and chat. …

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