Dragon Down in Toledo

It happened in Toledo
I was stocking cans
When they all fell down
Were bombs falling?
I lay down, ready to die

When the ground stopped shaking
But the dark glowed with fire
I decided to brave this
New world and went out
Into the night

Down the block
In front of the drive thru
Lay what, I could not say
Large and lumpy
With power lines jumping around

It moved and groaned
A terrible sound
Like a jet engine winding up
I gathered my courage and my broom
And walked forward ready for anything

Anything but this –
This was alive and mythical
Not supposed to be
Bright green and heaving giant
Breathes with scales and a tail

A dragon, an impossible reality
Lay sprawled down the street
Bleeding and hurt, huffing and groaning
I moved forward toward its great head
Raising my broom like a knight with a sword

I walk around its sprawled wing, tangled in electric wires
Heart pounding I inched forward
Suddenly its head shifted toward me
I fell back, and sat staring into its great eye
There was no menace there, only pain

I pulled myself together and up
And then moved forward, stretching
My hand outward, still for a moment
Close enough to feel the warmth coming
From this giant that lay crashed in a street in Toledo

I let my fingertips fall there
Below his eye into soft folds of skin
He lay so still and looking down his
Length I could see his giant side was
Collapsed inward, I could see no hope

I moved closer and stroked his face
He groaned and I could hear him
Struggle to take a breath
I leaned against him, willing him strength

His head fell to the dragon and I felt
The air leave his body. It smelled
Like campfires and fireworks
And then a policeman grabbed me
And pulled me away


Jose Gonzalez – Stay Alive


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