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Scottsdale, Arizona

My aunt told me I needed desert eyes
To see the beauty in a cactus spike,
To understand how prickly pears are wise
To hold their water in the dark of night.
They store it for the arid, sun-scorched day
When dirt and dust make all the scrub look pale.
The aster, too, endures each piercing ray
And grows where water gathers on the trail.
On hillsides, brittlebush springs in bright gold
While after rainfall, lupine blooms in blue.
The scorpion weed grows, coiling where rain’s rolled
From runoff pooled by flash monsoons. Those who
Stand where they are know what they’re waiting for—
They do not hope for what they see, but more.

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash

Mary Grace Mangano

Mary Grace Mangano is a writer and educator from New Jersey. She received her MFA from the University of Saint Thomas in Houston and her writing has appeared in AmericaDappled Things, Fare Forward, Church Life Journal, and Ekstasis, among others. She tweets at @MG_Mangan0.