Jewelweed – M. Stone

(Impatiens capensis)
Medicinal use: poison ivy


The rash is agony this evening but a steady breeze and the salve soothe my itch. Today Helen led me through a thicket, sure-footed as I stumbled. When I pointed out that three-leafed bane of my childhood carpeting the forest floor, she shrugged, seemingly immune. Her pale yellow sundress was made of fabric so sheer I could see two dark moles above her left hip. I imagined circling them with my tongue, never guessing she would tug me down onto a bed of pronged green poison and let me.