Miniature Juniper


Although I hardly gave it a thought
I didn't really doubt
our miniature juniper, a bonsai,
would survive our desert vacation.
                                                  It likes the dry
air of our home, needs water
once a week at most and seems
meditative and active, both. While away
I rediscovered my love of agaves–
                                                  sotol and century
plant–met Mortonia and became
reacquainted with squawbush, its citrus
drupe which makes traveling the long horizon
of the desert uplands endurable.
                                                  Live oaks–emory,
wavyleaf–dominant and regally spaced
giving ground to mesquite only on the sere
sand flats. I counted and drew inflorescenses,
spikelets, florets, awns but grasses
                                                   remain a mystery
their microscopic parts. This year
I'll study, give them serious thought before
our Spring starts. The cactus wren was the one
bird I could be certain about. Sunsets
                                                   made me sorry
the desert is not my home. But the ocotilloes
flowered before we left and that made up
for the vicious attack of a hedgehog cactus.
Impressive, ponderosa pine and Arizona cypress
                                                   the canyon canopy
watered with snowmelt and along the high cliffs
limestone formations predating our arrival by
ten million years of weather. Newspapers
kept us aware humanity had not accomplished yet
                                                   the end of history
and that was fair. The planes were full of citizens
who no longer applaud upon landing. Snow flew,
not a pinyon pine or manzanita within two moons
walking. On the dining room sideboard, waiting,
                                                   our miniature juniper.


Copyright 2007 by Robert Ronnow.