• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 07


even though my words are dull, anaemic, always flaffing about like an amateur dragon dance, barely coming up to scratch; whereas you are feisty and stubborn, having no time for dragons, you ride the Ancient Serpent and declare independence. You’d rather have knowledge and freedom than security or fun. Eternity is too small a world and the Garden too twee, as you prefer words like dementia or ambiguity. However long the shadow of guilt, or the accusation of sin, you have no regret having listened to the Serpent. When December turns further north, you’d like to grow taller, to where the fingertips of your upstretched hands are pointing, so that the spine would be straightened and you’d be able to stand your ground. “We would no longer walk on all fours!” You declare, despite the eternal curse. Heading west out of Eden you followed the setting sun, knowing that beyond the darkest December there’ll of course be a new dawn to come. You don’t worry about him, it’s your daughter and your daughter’s daughter you consider. They’ll be the ones who continue what you have done. Although all my winter dreams are colourless, no more than line drawings or fuzzy memories, I can see you clearly ― your swaggering ride, the determination in your smile! And I know I’ll be able to learn your words, if I let my imagination go.