Mother of Cacti

Tristan Beiter
Mother of Cacti

Flora: I was the mother of cacti;
I slit my sole and stepped on the sand
and I danced. I gave my tears
to the desert, bore lupine
rising its purple-belled shaft
from the dust that filled the sky
with yellow wind-drift, tumbleweeds
and brittlebush where my hair
fell to the ground. My blood
became the cups of cactus blossoms.
I blistered, my cauterized skin
like the prickly pear in my wake.

Tristan Beiter is a poet and speculative fiction nerd from Central Pennsylvania. His poems have previously appeared in GlitterShip, Bird’s Thumb, and Laurel Moon. When not writing or reading, he can usually be found crafting absurdities with his boyfriend or yelling about literary theory. Find him on Twitter at @TristanBeiter.

Editor’s Note: The cactus image is Opuntia polyacantha (var. hystricina or erinacea) in middle Lee Canyon near the road, Spring Mountains, southern Nevada. Photography by Stan Shebs (May 2008)

1 comment to Mother of Cacti

  • Marge Simon

    So enjoyed this earthy poem –I say earthy” because it captures a lot of what I felt, growing up in the Rockies. Not surprisingly, I came to the world of the fantastic through the prick of a Prickly Pear! (Or so I tell myself.)

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