Waiting for Beowulf
by Katie Winkler
Come my beauties, writhing sea dragons and serpents, monsters with milky eyes, slouching on slopes by the cliff. Come greet our visitors--the loathsome King Hrothgar and his fiendish followers. And Beowulf--the son-killer, watch him don his war-gear, showing no fear. I will give him cause to tremble, cause to repent how he rent the arm of the monster-child, left him to die like a dog, denying a god the honor of a swift death.
See the man take up Hrunting, the fool, thinking he will be victorious, boasting to his lord of its great strength as he comes to meet me in my own abode. He will swim to me through the depths, with great and mighty strokes, swim to my home some call a hellish turn-hole. Here he will sling the mighty sword. Its decorated blade will come down singing and ringing. Singing and ringing. But it will not touch the swamp-thing from hell. It will refuse to bite, and then this hag, this witch, shall take her revenge.
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In the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, Katie Winkler teaches writing at a small community college and tries to practice what she preaches with help from her wonderful husband and daughter. She writes and keeps writing because it gives voice to deep thoughts and feelings that are so often silenced by the superficial.