The giant saguaro (pronounced sah-wah-ro), the largest cactus in the United States, is found in the Saguaro National Park, Tuscon, Arizona. The saguaro can reach a height of 12 metres and an age of up to 200 years. Seen en masse it is like seeing a huge crowd of human beings.

This poem is dedicated to Terry, a dear friend and a talented artist. It’s my way of thanking her for introducing me to the beauty, majesty and tranquility of the Arizona desert.


In Israel

they are known as sabra

prickly on the outside

soft and yielding within.

Here in the Arizona desert

they are Saguaro

The natives say

they are the spirits of our ancestors

risen from the dead.

They stand like sentinels

arms reaching outwards and upwards

sometimes clasping one another

as a parent does a child.

All the people

who have ever been

are here.

Not ashes to ashes

Not dust to dust

but enriching the earth

as we enriched

the lives of others.

This is our life after death.

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

One thought on “LIFE AFTER DEATH

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