Nettles by Vernon Scanell

Nettles by Vernon Scanell
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  • My son aged three fell in the nettle bed. 'Bed' seems a curious name for those green spears
  • That regiment of spite behind the shed: It was no place for rest
  • With sobs and tears the boy came seeking comfort and i saw white blisters beaded on his tender skin
  • We soothed him until his pain was not so raw. At last he offered us a watery grin.
  • and then took my hook and honed the blade and went outside and slashed in fury with it till not a nettle in that fierce parade stood upright anymore.
  • Next task: I lit a funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead. But in two weeks the busy sun and rain had called uptake recruits behind the shed: My son would often feel sharp wounds again.
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