And so the old man told me
Of a story from the ancient days,
One that he had experienced
And found to ring true.
When asked what this story was
He would only smile and say:
Have you ever noticed how a golden cactus flower,
No matter how delicate,
Is protected by the sharpest of nature's spines?
No matter how lovely it seems on the bush
Once you pluck it you begin to see
Maybe it wasn't the best idea
To take this object from it's rightful place.
You see the red of your blood
Dribble onto the flower's soft petals
And stain it deep purple,
But how soon we forget we bled there at all.
That is until the throbbing pain
From when you snatched it to you
Returns to your fingertips
And your flower
Has withered away
Has turned to dust
And no longer is the beautiful creation it was on the bush.
So instead of forcing the flower away from its protector with our bare skin,
We quickly learn that thick, tough gloves save us the pain
So why wouldn't we wear them when taking this delicate masterpiece of nature's design?
Skirt around the edges, dear ones
Be careful where you strike,
For gloves only cover so much skin
And if you extend past that
The thorns rejoice.
But once in our lifetime
We see a golden cactus flower
That we simply can't resist
And charge in without thinking,
Or ugly and dead
It seems to others.
As we grasp our prize,
Intent on seeing its beauty
We realize too late that our hands and arms sting
And instead of tan, they are drenched in sticky crimson.
If this flower, full in bloom, is truly beautiful
And unlike its fellows will never wilt,
It would be worth it,
And the beauty of that golden flower would stay with you for eternity.
I asked him then
Where was his flower?
He sighed and looked out the
At the dull sunlight
Was locked away
And never again would see the light of day.
Under the Earth it would lay forever
Until the day when no dirt was left
In which it could reside.
Is it still in bloom?
Was my question to him.
He looked at me and smiled gently.
It's color has never dulled, its beauty never diminished.
But it itself
Could not be looked upon any longer.