Thursday, January 20, 2011

Song to the Saguaro Cactus

(pronounced sah-wha-ro)

We hike Sabino Canyon
to see the great Saguaro.
The Tohono O’Odham call these persons.
And so they are, each one unique,
standing in the thousands
along the valleys of this canyon,
arrayed in the arroyos as sentinels,
their thick, spiny, slow-growing arms
pocked with nests for cactus wrens or
an occasional owl.

Ah, Saguaro, you live longer than the people
who measure their years
against the flowering and the fruiting,
the hungry times, the longest nights,
the coldest, shortest days.
The people come in the proper season
to make wine from your fruits,
to give thanks,
and to dance under your arms.