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FLOWER HUNTERS ❋ Sari Lightman

Swarming the salt flats
clasping the fevered palms of braying children
who squirm in the midday sun
dry earth baked in a brutalist’s oven
keeping its fever long after twilight

These are the Flower Hunters
a soft pilgrimage that doubles each decade
donned in fabrics of neoprene and polyester
light cotton and ventilated spandex
wilting in the sun like the pious scorched petals of the desert basin

Flooding the overpriced canteens
and the air conditioned saloon themed motels
retired vagabonds in their cream coloured RVs nestled below
metamorphic black rock
the salmon pink of the Panamint mountains

Stalking golden rod and the desert dandelion
brittle brush and the mojave aster
Grape Soda Lupine
blue grasps of Indigo bush
and if they are lucky –
the purple streak of a pale lavender Five Spot

Upon sighting, the pack slows it’s movement
as though the flora would slither back into it’s den
or vanish completely
before the ceremonial inhalation
of it’s tiny perfumed scent

O Desert Ephemeral

This rare creation of rain and seeding
will flourish in the camera’s flash
and mounted in a living room
in a growing suburb 300 miles to the east
that is far more green and forgiving.