To the Saguaro Cactus Tree in the Desert Rain
I had no idea the elf owl Crept into you in the secret Of night. I have torn myself out of many bitter places In America, that seemed Tall and green-rooted in mid-noon. I wish I were the spare shadow Of the roadrunner, I wish I were The honest lover of the diamondback And the tear the tarantula weeps. I had no idea you were so tall And blond in moonlight. I got thirsty in the factories, And I hated the brutal dry suns there, So I quit. You were the shadow Of a hallway In me. I have never gone through that door, But the elf owl's face Is inside me. Saguaro, You are not one of the gods. Your green arms lower and gather me. I am an elf owl's shadow, a secret Member of your family.
From Above the River: The Complete Poems by James Wright. Copyright © 1992. Reprinted by permission of the literary estate of James Wright. All rights reserved.
Born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, on December 13, 1927, James Arlington Wright won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and was elected a fellow of The Academy of American Poets
Date Published: 1992-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/saguaro-cactus-tree-desert-rain