Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "This Inward Gate"

This poem is the freebie for the November 2012 Crowdfunding Creative Jam.  It was inspired by a prompt from mdlbear.

This Inward Gate

For a long time, nobody knew
how dragons could teleport
instantly and effortlessly
from one realm to another.

For a long time, nobody knew
that there was only one type of dragon
which changed  in response
to each new environment,
now red scales dripping with lava,
now blue skin sheathed in ice.

For a long time, nobody knew
why it was so hard to kill dragons,
only that they were almost impossible to kill
because they could teleport away
at the first sign of serious trouble.

Then one day, a dragonhunter managed
to get a spear into a dragon's flank
and the dragon did not  teleport away.

Excited, the dragonhunter thrust her spear
again and again until the beast lay dead.
Then, curious about her success,
she sliced through the tough hide
to trace the path of her initial strike.

There, alongside the beast's liver, lay
a thick vein still sheened with fading magic.
Now what was it the village butcher
called that thing in cows?
Oh yes: a "portal vein."

So it was this inward gate
that allowed dragons to escape,
to flit between the realms
like sparrows darting in and out of a barn.

The liver was larger than a mattress,
the portal vein nearly as wide as a window.
The dragonhunter slid her hand
through the gaping hole in the vein
and watched her fingers fade out of view.

Grabbing her gear, she began
to wriggle through the moist portal.
There was enough magic to grant her passage,
at least one way -- and if there wasn't enough
to get her back home again later --

well, she knew what to do.
Tags: creative jam, cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, poem, poetry, reading, writing

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