Dame Dragon

Nídhögg rises with the red light
stretching her feathers and climbing 
the air with her wings

away from her bower 
beneath the World Tree 

	where she hoards corpses 
	instead of gold

	where she curls her 
	sinuous body around the roots 
	and squeezes tight

	(where she’d very much like 
	to bite Ratatosk that infernal squirrel
	in half)

She tastes the air 
with her tongue
finding the notes of sulphur 
and ash of Ragnarök
the coming storm 
and destruction
and holds them in her mouth

She grins and swings 
back to her bed

There will be more 
corpses to consume 
soon enough

This poem is part of my Field Guide to Norse Mythology series. It first appeared in Honeyguide Literary Magazine, Issue 2, “Mythical Creatures.”


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