[Click] Photo

Diane Tucker was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she got a B.F.A. from the University of B.C. in 1987. Nightwood Editions published her first book of poems, God on His Haunches, in 1996. Since then she's completed two more poetry manuscripts and a novel, all of which remain unpublished, though their hobby is still going abroad, visiting many kind editors who like them but have not yet asked any of them to stay. Diane has a keenly understanding husband, two scandalously beautiful children and a houndy mutt named Doxa.

Marianne and Suzanne and Ursula are grateful for all the poems you sent in 2004. Please keep writing. Please keep taking care of one another.
From now till January 4th, the Monday's Poem is all about the season ... and may you have a good one.

Christmas Cactus

© Diane Tucker

who thought up that crazy name?
birth and the desert
a body splitting to let go its life
and a thick plant, flesh-firm
covered in needles?
ready to run you through?
stitch you up?

the real thing has, to my chagrin
no needles, just
thick, flat leaves with points
like elves' ears
the quaint suggestion of sharpness

this is a cheat
this is what we've done to Christmas
taken the sting out of it, flattened and dulled it
cleaned up the blood and water
given the birthing Virgin a shower
and a shot of Demerol

if you're going to give that name to a cactus
make it the sharpest one, the fattest
most succulent and most intent
on making holes in you

or forget it altogether
bring me an armload of holly instead
clutch it passionately against yourself
wrestle a bouquet out of its branches
until you bloody your skirts