Finding Purchase

Dwight Gray
For Gwendolyn

Sage green paddles spill haphazard 
over the edge of the garden, and thin
needles – the danger almost hidden
from our vantage point.  Shallow roots
find purchase in the limestone
jutting out where once was dirt.

There’s dragonflies circling, and new 
growth pushing out from the top,.
A lizard sunning itself on flat rocks.

Few of us were able to find happiness
in a place so shallow it seemed
the roots would never take.

It’s the rainy season right now;
weeds and wildflower shoot up between
the prickly bodies.  This will end soon,
grass peeling away, limestone bleaching
in the heat like unearthed bones.

Still the cactus will be standing,
daring the sun to do its worst
and you will be walking out in the world
watering raised garden beds, harvesting
food by the arm loads, taking root 
here, where so many others had given up.

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