Aphelion Issue 287, Volume 27
September 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page


by Deborah Reed Filanowski

You tell me you are turning into a dragon.
Eyes gleaming, your face changes so rapidly,
infant, toddler, child,
responding to new possibilities and wonders.
My arms surround you, my heart opens.
Unable to envision the adult you will become,
I cannot bear to tell you dragons are no more.
Instead allow you to run into the fog,
coat your body in mud from the river bottom,
let you eat sweet watermelon
and ice cream for dinner.
Drink deep from the well,
the clearest water comes from the depths.
It is a revelation to see you absorb knowledge,
see you rise and stretch
see you filling as if with a great wind.
You stand gilded against the blackness
of a day without sun
as you stretch out your new wings.
I tremble at the sight,
thrum with the love that fills me.
It never occurred,
under this sun, this moon, the stars,
you could be so magnificent.
Your cry shatters crystal,
resonates to the wolves
that give throat to your birth.
You rise on talons,
leap, to meet the air
great wings spread
and launch toward that windward country
your kind comes from.
Leaving only the echo of my cry,
take me too.

© 2023 Deborah Reed Filanowski

Born in West Virginia, Deborah adulted in Pennsylvania and presently lives along the Susquehanna River. She had a chapbook published by Plan B Press in 2001 but has changed her voice in the last few years. She has had poems published by Write Launch, Wingless Dreamer and Moonstone Arts as well as PPS Prize Winning Poems.

Find more by Deborah Reed Filanowski in the Author Index.