Cactus Flower

a poem by Devika

The desert sweeps to the horizon
In waves of memories parched;
Dragging my feet into the sands
That swirl with an insistent monotony-
Mirages float on the surface,
A moment here, gone now;
Was that you I saw in the glimmer?
Or was it my thought finding itself?
Trudging, tired, through the gold and grey,
Miracle of survival and grace-
A little pool of dignity denied,
A little respite of shadow sought;
Lay on me this fold of cloth,
Cover my face against the grit:
It gets into my eyes and mouth and hair;
Clogs my thinking and my sight,
My breath and my aching heart-
Wait a while in the sunshine:
I have seen a cactus flower!
So red, so velvet, so glossy;
No wonder it looks like blood-
I had to receive you in my heart;
Something had to make way for you:
It signifies the end, does it not?
Because the desert stops here
For me…