I arrive in Bruges
on a smothering bus
wishing I’d taken the train
but not regretting the beauty
of Belgium countryside
seen leisurely.

I wander serpentine streets,
cross foot bridges too narrow
to walk beside someone.

In the town’s center, a church
boasts a drop of Christ’s blood.
Pilgrims travel far to see it;
crossing the threshold,
they weep like long absent
children come home
to family’s welcoming arms.

In religious realms, a relic
is treasured, never
discarded, never
left behind.

Of being so beloved,
I must not be covetous.

Peggy Hammond’s most recent poems appear or are forthcoming in Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Comstock Review, Waterwheel Review, Jabberwock Review, The Silent World in Her Vase, San Pedro River Review, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, The RavensPerch, Third Wednesday, and Scissortail Quarterly. Her full-length play A Little Bit of Destiny was produced by OdysseyStage Theatre in Durham, NC.

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