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Desert

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When I was young I would visit the desert.
It was dry and barren.
I live there now.

When in that desert
          I would catch scorpions.
Those freaks of the first order
          are equaled by
               those freaks that would capture them.

And still I hunt scorpions.

The burning sun blistering my neck’s back,
the brightness of midday searing my retinas,
          with spade and pail in hand,
          I would set out in no particular direction.
Yes, I had high hopes of stealing a venomous one.

They all have venom.

Their chitinous exoskeleton cannot carry
the full burden of the sun’s truth-rays.
Their insides would be openly exposed
          as having not a firm bone in the body.
And so they find an excuse:
          a rock
               a log
                    or some other such rubbish.

I have not found one that did not hide under rubbish, not a one.

I remove it’s shelter quickly;
          stunning it.
There she stands momentarily, looking at the sun directly,
          not doing anything, let alone fleeing.
I think they almost like it:  pondering immortality.

They all like the loving light for a while.

Awakening from her stupor she seeks escape.
She scurries frantically to wherever.
Little does she care
          that the cause of her discomfort
          only seeks her companionship.

I block escape for I will not allow
          mere excuses to cause my pail to go empty.
Yes, I can give a good life in comfort with
          regular feedings and climate control with
          no fear of harm.

But they are hateful creatures that hate to be seen as they are.

A hand that got too close receives a sting three times.
Falling back and looking in disbelief,
          I hold my stricken hand and watch
               my friend go to where she will.
It was fun while it lasted.

How the pain lingers!
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