The Poetry Bus is a Prickly Pear

Jeanne Iris is hosting the Poetry Bus this week. She gave us the choice of three different prompts. I chose the third option:

What is your favorite summer sensory memory?  
The aroma of honeysuckle? gardenias? sweat? s'mores?
The sounds of tree frogs? block parties? a favorite song? the beach?
The touch of summer romance? itch of mosquito bites? poison ivy? breezes?
The taste from the Good Humor truck? BBQ? salt water? apple pie?
The sight of family reunions? long car trips? a first date? summer rain?

Here is mine.

Saturday at the Beauty Shop

I sit quite still
on the side porch.
The cactus spines
are fragile
and sometimes bend
as I press them
into my callused fingers.

Oh! That faint pinch –
not pain, and not
not pain.
I gaze with love at
the pincushion
of my hand.
I am a superhero –
Cactus Girl!

After a bit I get
my grandmother's
tweezers from her
beauty shop
and with much care
pluck that power.

An ordinary girl again
I gape in wonder
at the jar of
floating combs
in magic water.

When you're five
the world is a
mysterious place
and even a pin curl
is part of the fabric
of the universe.


  1. I'm jumping on the bus with a Summer haiku! Summmer Sound

  2. I love how you have painted such a vivide the picture with your words. Nicely done as always.

  3. I like "not pain and not not pain" -- a great way to describe the faint pinch of a tiny cactus spine.

  4. Wonderful poem, I can almost feel it myself. The last stanza is so profound, and so poignantly beautiful :)

  5. Oh, I love this, Dana! During those seemingly endless summer days, everything seemed so magical at that age, didn't it?

  6. Cactus fruit (the prickly pear) is my favorite, despite its tiny spines that pinch the fingers.

    Like in your sweet poem, I use tweezers to get them out, and again like you, the girl in this poem , I feel a superhero.

  7. Fabulous.

    What IS that blue water they soak the combs in anyway? Don't tell me.

  8. sweet. i loved trips to the barber as a brown was the first to ever cut my hair...he also cut my boys the first time...

  9. Lovely and bittersweet. I wish my girls felt like superheros over "not pain but not not pain"- they howl at the slightest thing!

  10. What a lovely, simple, understated poem! I love the idea of you as a superhero set against the real-life surroundings. Very neat.

  11. brilliant, brings me back to my grannies dressing table. excellent

  12. Dear The Bug,
    Oh, yes. That waiting in summer, while the grown-up world just keeps rocketing onward.

    This is a wonderful poem.
    Thank you!

    Ann T.

  13. Yes! I was right there watching, maybe became five-year-old you as I read this wonderful poem.

    (Really love your blog; I've had fun looking around. If Kramer ever needs a new home you know who to notify!)


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