“The Fairy Tale” By Christopher Raley

And what poetry is there to write here?
Achievement lacks the labors of time
and borders the safe guard of hazard:
truly the place where dreams come true.

You slide from scene to scene
and no meaning takes you.
Over large creatures still their faces
and no words greet you.

What can I say?
Not even the irony of unhappy kids
and angry parents is of any value.
Just believe in your heart that you are good
and lo! Dreams come true.

Yet outside the castle lives an animal
more demon than any fairytale.
Off the road where busses pace and
beyond the median of mowed grass
stands a wall of tree and vine yet untouched.
Look and you cannot see.
Enter and you may not know.
But she is there like a myth
in the swampy heart of your careful footfalls:
Perhaps her thick green hide once beautiful skin,
her yellow eyes once blue,
their narrow once innocent.
Do not look and you will see.
Stand too close and then you know
when the hiss and the steam:
It was like this that men once called her Dragon.


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