Today's poem is by Sarah Hannah

Tread-softly (Cnidoscolus stimulosus)

Hell, this is a field without end,
Wider than a gate, athrum with
Insect wing and Squawk. I might as well

Go swim in flame, but I can't swim,
So I'll just walk: bramble, spike,
And blame, without a single quenching

Drop of dew. Not a field—a ravine—
I mean a raving: You. And I'm
On double shift: daughter, nurse,

In double oxymoron: home hospice.
Some have said it's not worth saving,
This tiny family of Spurge: we two.

The hooks go in, the rash is swift, and
There's no poultice, only spur and spurned.
Even the milk sap burns. I've the urge to turn

And quit, but there's simply no one else to do it;
No one could or would—tread softly, that is—
Open the hand, toss the shoes and step back in,
Knowing what I know.

Copyright © 2007 Sarah Hannah All rights reserved
from Inflorescence
Tupelo Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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