Tales of the Cactus | Second Wind
The Christmas cactus was lovely this year, big bunches of
blossoms coming on in November, lasting ’til March when
the last shriveled and fell. Outside dead oak leaves clacked
in the wind. Dirty snow melted and froze again in a muddy
One snowy spring morning, from its dormant complacency,
the cactus exploded in brilliant buds of new blossoms. A
vernal blast of red life through earth, root and stem. Mardi
Gras under ground? Tibetan New Year?
I pondered subterranean parties and the power needed to
press forward through endings and assumptions. I touched
the cactus, dripping with brilliance, and felt the force of a
Tales of the Cactus | The Axis Mundi
In the east-facing sunroom
my dog snored in her crate.
Nearby in the window
my Christmas cactus
dripped with blooms.
I was the owner, keeper, provider.
I was the lady of their sunroom manor.
One morning last year in November
a dozen more blossoms
They were so striking,
I said to the dog,
“Do you see the blossoms?”
Then . . .I said,
“Do you know the cactus?”
The question stopped me cold
in my east facing sunroom.
Could the dog know the cactus?
And, to be fair,
could the cactus know the dog?
And what’s occurring
in my sunroom
if they both really know?
a staggering thought
Am I truly the hub
for this whole arrangement?
On that quiet morning
last year in November
without a breath
to mark the place,
without a sigh
to mark the passing,
the axial mundi moved.