Flowers in the Cacti

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In a nest of thorns the hummingbird feeds,
Prying open the clenched fists,
Protecting warm fleshy centers
Where sweet nectar rests
In folds of velvet pedals,
Simmering in a pollen soaked bath.

But the hummingbird stays hungry
With nothing to prove, nothing to lose,
Imprisoned however
In a frantic sputter of movement.

If it stops, will it know
Spring is built upon skeletal winters,
Dormant desires, littered masterpieces?
A mulched decay of seasons,
Fallen statues that once wore halos of blooms,
Crowned by Mother Nature
When she set her army to work
In the Sonoran desert;
The soldiers that kept watch, daring dreamers
To extinguish in the bright exposure.
Can you flourish in all that heat? she’d demand,
Or will you slither into the parched earth
And declare silent wars at night,
Rattling and howling in protest?

Does the hummingbird feel the residue
When it suckles the sunbaked blooms?
Feel the thorns as it wedges its
Fluttering body, its receptors heightened?
Do thorns make it sweeter?

Or perhaps thorns are
Expected.
A nuance.
A nuisance.
Bittersweet.
Irrelevant.

One thing is certain,
The hummingbird
Stays hungry.
That alone
Gives it
Flight.

-S. S. Hicks

 

 

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