Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus

a barren wasteland
ringed by mountains
everything has a needle—
nature’s shooting gallery—
and I’m afraid
of a rocky trail, the desolate road, that lone hiker, myself

once driving in the rain
and fog on the precipitous highway
sea crashing on my right
you, driving, asked me
why–since I claimed to not fear death—
I was so worried
of a car wreck off the cliff

there are a lot of answers
I could give, ways
to explain
but really it was just
the loneliness

Miriam Sagan is the author of 30 books of poetry, memoir, and fiction. She blogs at Miriam's Well -- Read other articles by Miriam, or visit Miriam's website.