By Diane Fahey

Once, dragon-like, you guarded treasure.
Later, you guarded power: in repose,
regally aloof, beside the throne at Knossos,
neck arched, body luxuriant with flowers.
On cauldron or krater, a governed savagery,
though a paw may be raised, a beak open.
Only rarely are you in action — serpentine
spoiler of deer, claws sharp in eroded ivory.
Implacably sovereign, you are a template
of pride unshadowed by the fear
of extinction. At Olympia, you feed your
rasping young: already composite, complete.

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