The screeching and jingling sounds
drew me behind the high school.
There at the edge of the playground,
tangled in the chain-link fence,
was a dragon.
She smelled of sun-baked metal,
heated even in the cool spring air.
Her voice held the bonging and clanging
of aluminum pipes.
The Eye of Fate showed me
that she was the size of a giraffe,
all long neck and legs and tail.
When I tried to approach,
she hissed at me
and flapped her screen-door wings.
Magic fizzed and sparked around her,
dripping onto the pavement
to sizzle like acid.
I worried that someone might come,
even after school,
and see her and freak out.
Clearly I would have to do something,
I sat cross-legged on the ground
and spoke to her in soothing tones
the way I did when the radiator dragon
got spooked at home.
Once she calmed down,
I carefully untangled her
from the remains of the fence
and stepped away.
Then I pried the lid off the garbage can
that held the aluminum cans for recycling.
She snatched them up,
packing them together between her paws
until she had a large ball
that chinkled as she turned it over.
She flew away,
the quick wind of her passage
flinging dust and trash in my face.
I raked my hair out of the way
and listened to her wingbeats fading.
From below came another sound,
like the tinkling of tiny bells.
Sure enough, the magic had
eaten through the pavement
and in the potholes
sprouts of silver bells emerged,
their white flowers replaced
by pure metal.
Well ... maybe no one would notice that.