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Lexington Poetry Month
Ode to Poison Ivy 
article by
Melva Sue Priddy

Your rosy colors bloom across my fingers,

girly girl.  You really know how to show yourself 

and, what’s more, you know how to show me.

You tie me in knots and restrict my activities 

for days on end.  A doctor once laughed 

and called you ‘the ohio river valley crud’ 

because you had danced around my bosoms 

while I harvested grapes.  Ok, I was huge 

pregnant and panting and, yes, my fault,

I pulled my bra off because I felt I’d smoother.  

Irony—yeah, I get it.

You got the last laugh then.  You’re

laughing today; your sap found flesh 

through my gloves.  But it’s not over.  

Once my fingers regain greater range 

of motion, I’ll hunt you out, 

every sprig of you, then I’ll pour boiling 

water down your throat, not once 

but for as many doses as it takes

to make you wilt until you disappear. 

I remember where I was yesterday and the day before.  

I’ll blister you back to your roots and eradicate you.  


Yes, Ivy, I hear your comeback:  

“But birds like my berries.”


6 responses to “Ode to Poison Ivy ”

  1. Steve Cummings says:

    I’m amazed at how prolific poison ivy is and wondered how it spread so much. Birds, those evil birds…I had no idea

  2. Gaby Bedetti says:

    I love the mock-vengeful tone.

  3. Edelweiss Meadows-Millstone says:

    Great poem. It gets to me, makes me itch for more!

  4. Kathleen Gregg says:

    “Blister you back to your roots” Great line! And, a war strategy I have never used! Good luck!

  5. Karen George says:

    Oh, I love this. Such feeling: “Blister you back to your roots.”

  6. Shelda Hale says:

    “because you had danced around my bosoms

    while I harvested grapes. . .” powerful image of poison ivy and a pregnant woman dancing~~ earthy and mystical at the same time!

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