My father says when I am young,
And drawing dragons in the hall
“Listen to me, my boy, my son —
No more dragons on the wall!”
No more dragons on the wall,
The wall that shines so shiny bright,
My father takes me to the mall
And buys me paper, clean and white.
And on that paper I did draw
In colors bright and colors bold,
The magic dragons that I saw
Green and blue and red and gold!
I take them to my father’s side,
Expecting hugs and joyous praise
He takes the sheets with eyes gone wide
And this is what my father says,
“No more of this! No more of that!
There’s no such thing as dragons, boy.
Draw a tree, a shoe, a hat,
A loaf of bread, your favorite toy.
Draw a ship with ropes and sails;
Draw my face or draw your toe.
No more wings and teeth and scales —
Imaginary monsters? No!”
“But dragons are not monsters, dad…”
I say, but then his face turns red.
He looks like he is really mad —
I quickly climb the stairs to bed.
Now I draw ships and sun and trees
Things I can see – oh what a bore!
I do just what my father said,
I draw no dragons anymore…
…But he said nothing of elven kings,
Or goblins black as darkest night,
Or singing swords or silver rings,
Or unicorns with horns alight.
So I draw those, though not at home,
And someday, years from now, oh when
I have lived long and far have roamed
I will draw dragons once again!
October 3, 1996