Sanctuary

The noise of war
Drove them far
From home
Running into
Hills and mountains
Hiding monsters
Flinging bombs
At their cities.
Surrounded on
All sides by
Faceless monsters
Flinging death
Where to flee?

Mother held the
Baby tight, while
Oldest sun gripped
Younger sister’s hand
Till she thought it
Would break.
Up and up their
Path wound in
Darkness, no path
Really just forward
In darkness surround
On all sides by rock
With sounds of war
Chasing close behind
Like rabid dogs.

Scrambling madly
Grasping every foothold
Handhold, root, rock that
Would hold mother
Beheld and empty black space.
“In, In” she insisted and
They plunged into the void.
Further and further they
Went and it seemed they would
Go clear through the mountain.
The discordant symphony of war
Receded and in the hush of
Darkness they heard water.
Mother pushed them forward
They cupped their hands
Against the rock wall
Where they filled with
Cold water.
Drinking thirstily their
Heart beat slowed
Little sister could breath
Again without gasping
Mother sat with the baby
Stroking his face as
He cried.
Big brother cried,
He cried for father
And then put his
Face in the cold
Water to stop crying.
He had to be strong
For mother, little sister,
Baby.

Then in the deep gloom
Came a deep sound.
A low rumbling beginning
In one place and moving,
Moving such a long distance
Again the rumbling came
And went.
Mother yanked all the children
Close her arms suddenly
Long enough to hold
Them all,
And they began to
Back slowly out
The way they came,
But in the darkness
The way they went
Was not the way
They came and
Their backs were against
A rock wall.

Warm air rushed
Around them
And the smell of sulfur
And burning filled
Their noses.
Mother handed baby
To older brother and
Stood in front of them.
“You will not hurt my
Children!” she shouted
Into the darkness.
A rumbling sound
Vibrated through
The darkness, it was
Warm but so strong it
Vibrated their back
Teeth making them
Clack together.

Then there was a burst
Of light and a stream of
Flame shot out.
Little sister screamed
And buried her
Face in big brother.
The flame wrapped
Around a large rock.
The rock glowed brightly
And the flame stopped.
The rock continued
To glow and give off heat.
They could see the cave
With the water running
Down one wall into
A little pool.
Drawings covered
The wall, drawings
Of dragons.

Mother looked at
Them and shook her
Head – the knew to
Stay still.
Mother slowly moved
Forward toward
The rock and out
Of the darkness
On the opposite
Side of the cave
Two large eyes
Appeared.
Slowly the dragon’s
Head came into.
Honey gold with
With brilliant eyes
He put his head
Down to mother’s
Eye level.
No words were
Spoken but
Mother understood.
She nodded her
Head as the dragon
Blinked his eyes
And tipped his enormous
Head.

Mother beckoned
The children and they
Came and gathered
Near the rock and
They all slept
Under the watchful
Eye of the dragon
With no fear of war.

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