Callisaurus draconoides

Zebra-tailed lizard

Mary Ellen Bartholomew



You've seen her

little fast runner, striped tail erect

skitter off the trail, dust cloud

stop, look,

I see you

I’ll scare you

she says (I'm a scorpion!!)

darts after beetles, grasshoppers, flies, crickets, ants, bees, buds

dances in the afternoon sun, long front legs

or alternate legs (fancy dance)

I see you! tails!

in the Sonoran heat from spring until fall

sleep at dusk

in the dust under the creosote


           sun, heat, crickets, dance

you've seen her




Mary Ellen has been a librarian for the National Park Service for more than twenty years. She has lived in and explored Tucson since 2002. This is her first poem.