BEING THE DRAGON ON THE FOURTH OF JULY

They see our feet below
the drapes of cloth, the stripes
of purple, green, yellow.
They watch our careful steps.
The red-tongued dragon dips
and dances down the street.
They see our human feet.


Outside the air grows warm.
We follow in parade
inside the glittering worm,
this mask that hands have made.
Under the dragon’s shade,
dancing the dragon’s path,
we breathe our human breath.

“O, the dragon,” they say,
those people standing by,
but we are far away,
here in another sky;
we’ve risen in the air
above temporal things,
aloft on dragon wings.

Inside we are a world
untroubled by the rest.
Over our heads we hold
the dragon, manifest
its benediction.  Blessed–
and blessing all–we rise
seeing through dragon eyes.


Three years ago, I was IN a  Chinese Dragon in a Fourth of July Parade.  This poem, in Rhyme Royal, is about that experience.

Mary F. C. Pratt , July 4, 2007

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