Katie’s Dragon

There’s a dragon in the back room

on the third floor

by the stairway.

His skin is brown and scaly

and his eyes are green and cold.

I sit at the top of the staircase,

and watch him through the crack

between door and wall.

He knows I’m watching.

I bet that’s why he only breathes fire

when I’m not looking.

But I’ve caught him blowing

dragon smoke rings

between sharp yellow teeth.

I wonder if he ate Molly.

I left her in the hallway closet

when we played hide and seek.

Then I went to dinner,

and when I came back on Saturday

she was gone.

She’d lost a button eye,

and her dress was a little ragged,

but he didn’t have to eat her.

Tomorrow’s the dragon’s birthday,

and they’ll drag him from the back room.

Drag him down the staircase

and into the kitchen.

He must be at least five hundred,

and I don’t know how we’ll fit so many candles

on the cake.

Although if we do, maybe I can watch him light them.

That might even be worth

being brave enough

to kiss the dragon on the cheek,

(instead of stabbing him with a sword

which I don’t have),

and pretend that he’s my grandpa.


M.A. Mohanraj

December 9, 1992