I remember the beast,
four-legged, gaunt,
reduced to mostly ribs.
Every summer,
cool and reserved,
it hibernated,
harmless to the touch,
docile enough
to ride cowboy-style.
But in October,
we children learned
to beware its
spiny back as a chair.
Throbbing alive
with a gruff grumble,
how it strained
against its moorings.
it would hiss and spit
the noxious
breath of hell itself.
Burns taught
the chastised to avoid
its rusted tail.
A conglomeration of
dinosaur bones
petrified into cast iron,
only the foolish
would dare saddle
that fiery beast
once it began to buck.

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