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Dragonsby Vonnie Winslow Crist
It's a bring-the-dog-in night.
Even the moon has hidden her face,
for dragon's breath billows over the city.
Most of us play it safe:
lock our doors,
pull the blinds tight so
our plastic eyelids wink out the view,
and wrap blankets around our limbs
like winding sheets.
We pretend we're asleep,
but our ears prickle at the dragon's call:
howling like an abused hound,
screeching like arctic winds.
A thick breath envelopes the townhouses.
Only the curious venture out
in smoke so dense,
objects a meter from their eyes
The enormous reptile strides
with silent claw-treads
and sails through the earth-
shadowed skies on noiseless wings.
You can never be certain
where the dragon is.
Sometimes, you feel air rush
from her wingstrokes
or the earth tremor from her swishing tail
or ocean water drip from her belly.
If you are out on a bring-the-dog-in night
when even the moon has hidden her face
and dragonís breath billows over the city --
take a few steps into the blinding smoke
and reach out --
you might stroke slick scales;
stare -- you might see flashing topaz eyes.
But don't step, don't reach,
unless you want to believe
Vonnie Winslow Crist , BS Art-Ed, MS Professional Writing, Towson University, is a columnist for "Harford's Heart Magazine," an illustrator for "The Vegetarian Journal," editor of "The Gunpowder Review," and a contributor to "Faerie Magazine." Cold Moon Press recently published a collection of her fantasy stories, "The Greener Forest," available at Amazon and elsewhere.
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