“He had turned into a dragon while he was asleep.
Sleeping on a dragon’s hoard with greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart,
he had become a dragon himself.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
He napped on the wealth of the world,
The heart of the wildwood beating in his ears,
But his sleep outlasted the wood itself.
Over the years, earth and twigs covered him,
Turning his sunny glade into a fairy mound.
When he woke, his scales were soft as bracket fungus,
And his hide was frayed like the bark of a fallen spruce.
All around him, houses stared down with blank eyes.
A bridge crossed a brook where children swung on bars,
Screamed and chased each other around plastic cars.
The sweet smells of red woolen sweaters, sticky candy fingers,
Grilled cheese breath and ripening juniper berries
Teased his nose, so different than leaf mold and lichen.
He remembered the beating of the wildwood heart,
Loud as thunder, steady as rain, but he could not hear it.
His greedy heart stirred. His claws churned the earth.
Clink, clink, his treasure was safe. Gold gleamed below him.
Its musical ringing soothed him. He remembered winning it,
When the forest were young, kings foolish, and no amount
Of stone or brick could hide the scent of gold from him.
His youthful memories brought dreams and in the gloaming,
He dozed again, his green eyes dimming, his breath stilling.
The woods would return one day: the seeds were there.
The day of the dragon would return with the wildwood.
Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham
Note: Were you the kind of child that imagined dragons under the hills and fairies inside the flowers? If not, maybe it’s not too late to be that child now. What would you think about, if you were a dragon awaking in suburbia?