in huge battalions, like sentinels,
their arms raised in salute to their masses,
their weapons sharp and ready to pierce,
their armor spiked and completely
covering them from head to toe.
They guard the blistering badlands,
the wastelands, the no-man's lands,
where they have held their positions,
for hundreds of years.
Even the smallest of their species,
grows only one inch annually,
and their mightiest are,
fifteen to twenty feet tall, that's 240 years,
that they've stood vigil at the same post.
They spent their early years growing,
when revolution swept the lands to their north.
Young Indian braves practiced their hunting,
using the saguaro as targets for their spears.
Western expansion brought the white men,
who marked their trails with axes,
cut into the sides of saguaros,
in the endless quest for gold, and land.
Back when brother, fought against brother,
in a nation divided, they stood as one,
Untouched by musket balls, and cannon blasts.
Then they watched a great native people banished,
from the sacred grounds they used to share.
The shadows that the saguaros cast,
resemble devil's pitchforks,
sharply silhouetted against the blazing sand,
an omen pointing to the massive evil,
that lurked just beyond their borders.
The Victorian era, the Industrial revolution,
came and went, Iron rails cut swaths
through their steadfast ranks
roads, and trails spreading like fibrous tumours
across the face of their home.
Through World Wars, the nuclear era
with missile testing, and atomic blasts
they have persevered, right up until this present day.
Through the decades as centuries,
left their telltale marks.
they stood proudly victorious in the most
inhospitable of places.
yet even now they still face the blades of plows,
bulldozers, and irrigation trenchers,
the tumours spread, as community developments,
envelope acres of the places they once ruled.
But forever they will remain,
in those harshest of spots,
undaunted battalions amidst the canyon walls,
against the rocks and mesa's,
their numbers growing inch by inch,
year by year, reclaiming areas
where no man dares to venture.
These armies of saguaros,
stand like sentries,
their arms upraised against,
encroachment and defeat.
I have walked amongst them,
and I leave them now,
knowing my generation,
too soon will pass,
my days are numbered,
I have attained my full requirement,
of inches, year by year.
Long after I am in the ground,
and my son's son reaches the golden age,
the saguaros will stand as a testament,
to natures enduring re silence.
"Hail the victorious saguaros!"