Nettles

My son aged three fell in the nettle bed.
'Bed' seemed 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 till his pain was not so raw.
At last he offered us a watery grin,
And then I took my billhook, honed the blade
And went outside and slashed in fury with it
Till not a nettle in that fierce parade
Stood upright any more. And then I lit
A funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead,
But in two weeks the busy sun and rain
Had called up tall recruits behind the shed:
My son would often feel sharp wounds again.


Submitted by Andrew Mayers

by Vernon Scannell

Comments (25)

i am studying this in school and it is an amazing poem
It is hook not billhook on line ten
Great poem love the use of words! Im a book worm and love poems
i am doing this poem in English and i am really enjoying the way he uses his words to show how bad the nettles are. i like the way he also makes the father so protective over the boy because in real life a normal parent would just tell the child to get over it but this dad is so angry that something has hurt his boy so much.
I'm doing an English topic on this poem
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