Eyeless Green Dragon

November 11, 2021


For Betty Lou Jensen

Who was killed by the Zodiac

December 1968

Age 16



A mock image,

offspring of

your imagination…

that green

papier-mâché dragon.


In art class,

I heard the intermittent

ripping of paper,

and your occasional laugh.


The ripping echoes

In my mind,

even now.


That ripping

was permanent.

But, I didn’t know

until later.


You deftly pressed the


paper shreds

to the wire frame

and papier-mâché slowly crept

around the wire skeleton.


Your dragon was

coming alive…


as you brush-stroked the skin,

a green tint emerged.


Your dragon

Was eyeless,

But then,

It was unfinished.

When you didn’t return…

Your eyeless green dragon

was left in the in the art closet –

right where you placed it.


Maybe our teacher said

to himself,

“I am grieved

that that this work of art

has no eyes…

has not been finished…

will never be finished.”

Or, maybe he thought,

“Could someone else finish

Betty Lou’s green dragon?

“Could someone else give

it eyes?”


“Could someone else

swish the brush and


the exact tint you had imagined?”


I only knew what I was thinking,

when I creaked open

the art closet door

and saw

the eyeless green dragon

awaiting the finishing flick

of the paintbrush.


No eyes,

Yet, I could feel it staring at me,

imparting thoughts past reason,


to the fleshy core of my heart.


I felt the injustice.

I felt the absolute evil,

of the demon who stole your eyes…

silenced your laugh.

Years later I surmised…

maybe the eyeless green dragon

was finished after all.


© 2010 Nathalie Taylor


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