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June 13, 2012 / Rae Spencer

The Old Cactus

When we moved into this house in 2001, we found a potted cactus abandoned by the previous owners. Since then the cactus has outgrown three pots, survived snowstorms and hurricanes, and inspired a cactus-themed flower bed. But it isn’t a pretty creature. Spiders haunt its tightly-woven spines, spinning dense shrouds of web around its base. Leaves cling to it, and its barbs penetrate leather gloves as easily as they run through flimsy cotton. Its trunk is twisted, half-collapsed on one side, leaning heavily against a trio of stakes.  I wonder, sometimes, if it aches with age. If it feels the listing slump of years and yearns for the tall, unblemished symmetry of youth.

And then it blooms. More and more blooms each summer. More and more beautiful…

3 Comments

  1. rommel / Jun 13 2012 7:53 PM

    Cactus? Like the ones in the desert… didn’t know it looks like that … hmmm …

    • Rae Spencer / Jun 14 2012 1:33 PM

      I can’t find an exact identification, but believe it is either a barrel cactus or a close relative of the barrel cactus.

  2. Sharon Poch / Jun 15 2012 7:25 PM

    Ya’ gotta’ love a plant that weathers the elements and blooms against all odds. Reminds me of some people . . .

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