hunter gather

Mojave

This was part of it…
to preserve rare Mojave cacti
from destruction of the
gypsum blasting mines

to be mildly appreciative
when pros told her a Latin name
cylindropuntia enchinocarpa
for shimmering silver cholla

she’d arrive predawn
drink coffee, choose tools…trident rake,
an arrow pointed trowel…thick gloves

yet her intent was always other
just to be there watching
the skipping stoned trajectory
of desert big brown bats
in flight to roosts in distant caves
their tiny bellies tight
from a raiding night…
of bronze carapace beetles
blood engorged mosquitoes
and dew sipped from prickly pear

they stitched night to dawn
on those color striped horizons
of awareness levels to ease her
to supremacy of sun

when her intent revealed itself
to celebrate life in harshness…
with the drought adapted,
the self-protection poisonous,
the sharp pricked keep aways…

and so she gathered wisdom
to take with her
from true survivalists

Bonnie Marshall
…or a persona thereof

Artist: Tina Bluefield

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