Cactus Blooms

By Amanda Cronin, age 16
Cactus Blooms

“This morning,
my broken dreams suddenly
appeared in my cupped hands.”

As I write to you,

the echinopsis flowers have begun

their petal game of peek-a-boo,

the crested caracara flies

high in the dusty sky,

and I am slowly suffocating.

 

Every day

breathing gets harder.

The oppressive hot air

scrapes the inside of my nostrils.

Swallowing is painful,

prickly sand dots my throat.

 

You brought me here

to this mysterious place

filled with natural wonders.

 

My choice was yours,

because living together

meant moving together,

and I didn’t argue.

 

At first,

the sparkling sand

and shining sun

charmed me.

You were happy

and I was content.

 

But I realized that it was all a mirage.

 

This morning,

my broken dreams suddenly

appeared in my cupped hands.

They were the quills of a cactus

and my blood was theirs too.

 

I realized that we are sun and sand.

I reflected your radiance,

but then was stomped on.

Your neglect left deep bootprints.

 

I realized that I was foolish.

I am still foolish.

Foolish powder that wishes to be glass.

 

I thought I saw opportunity on the horizon,

beckoning with flaring gestures

and brilliant colors.

But that was just the sunset,

and it wasn’t as pretty as I had hoped.

 

My dreams are wider than the landscape.

My ideas, more sporadic than tumbleweeds.

You and I both know that I will fail,

but I’m no longer afraid of taking chances.

 

So when you receive this

letter of surrender,

flying white from the hand of the mailman,

I will receive my freedom,

And I do not care for a reply.

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