• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 07
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dressed as a dragon

a child is walking down the street
little stubby wings orange and curve-cut
face masked with rigid holes
for eyes and a hint of paper flame

just an ordinary sunny day in May
Philadelphia no holiday except that we are
out and he is out and his parents
dressed normally but out

together we will ride the train
you and I old people and pass the
piles of smoking tires and the pink
graffitied palaces of broken factories

community compost piles
I remember gardens all so neat beside
the tracks that first trip to Rotenburg
and there were all the neat small

gardens and sheds with tools stored neatly
and ancient people in ancient lawn chairs
smoking pipes here we pass Philadelphia
community gardens cold frames tarps

but never people working
just rusted cars and stunted trees
and I wonder do the train fumes
kill the produce but the dragon


dressed as a dragon

child is happy making choo choo
sounds and I have had to look up
the spelling of Rotenburg which I remember
as a place of fairy tales but who can

trust parents who can doubt the terror
of Hansel and the witch’s oven
hungry eyes dragon fire and my little ones
filling their pockets with stones