Sunday, April 20, 2008


You met the dragon in the garden. Sometimes he flies in circles outside your window. This morning he appeared as a young boy. He shows you a vision of your parents, lying in a barn. With his face so close you smell hay.

He bleeds from the wounds of paper birds, from a swallowed curse. Can your healing rice cake keep him from death? You hold his head in your arms as he squirms red, you force his jaws open and touch his teeth. When you feed him he gags and chokes, changing from human to dragon and back, his eyes always blue.

The dragon is really the river of your childhood home. He hands you a pink tennis shoe you lost in the water when you were seven. That river was drained years ago for development.
Since then the dragon
has no home but you, no name
but your memory.

.by Jeannine Hall Gailey
Port Townsend, Washington
first published in The Eleventh Muse, 2007

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