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Saint George’s Dragon

ISSUE:  Winter 2003


As such things go, my reign of terror
felt impressive.
I ate a lot of the town, was widely feared.
A few bloody rampages
taught them to bring my victims to me—
one a day, picked by chance. In exchange
I left their streets and shops alone,
found a cave out by the lake, settled in.
This princess George has rescued
meant nothing to me. Nobody did.
I understand
I have to be dragged around for a while now,
made to look dangerous, then dispatched.
George is brandishing his weapon,
showing off. And why not?
It’s his moment. But what do you want
back there in the crowd?
You’ve known more than a couple
of the men I’ve eaten. You’ve been afraid
you might be next. Leashed and cowering,
do I remind you of an old dog
you used to kick around? Don’t try
to feel sorry for me.
I’m getting what I deserve, and you’re eager
to see it all and tell
the story: A single savage blow, green blood
leaping out. That sort of thing.
Good versus evil. After which
George goes off to become a saint, meaning
he gets to be dragged around and slaughtered
while the happy crowd congratulates itself.
And you are there.
Just let your tender feelings go
and be yourself. I’m the one
to whom you can do anything
and feel good about it afterwards. Let me be
the first of many.


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