When I was a boy, I spent many hours running through the woods behind our house. My friend Henry and I watched episodes of The Lone Ranger, and then head for the woods to pretend we were the real thing. It was great fun, but sometimes we got off the beaten paths and into the green leaves of poison ivy beside the trails. By the next morning I would be scratching my ankles and between my toes. If the oil from the leaves got on our face it could swell our face and might require a doctors visit. Most of the time we simply rubbed on pink calamine lotion and kept on playing.

The song above by the Coasters came out in the fifties. With its catchy lines it became a song you could not get out of your head once you heard it. I have always enjoyed hearing the famous hook, “Poison I—vy, Poison I—-vy… Late at night while you’re sleeping Poison Ivy comes creeping around.? I am not sure exactly what the real meaning of the song is since it could be interpreted in a couple of different ways.  Be sure to listen to the clip above, for a taste of fifties music, and see what you think?

Poison Ivy

Barefoot boys running on rabbit trails

Chasing imaginary figures into the woods

Cowboys and Indians running wild

So much fun to run and hide

Pearl handled six-shooters and homemade rifles

All played a part in our virtual reality games

We were Daniel Boone and Davy Crocket

Crouching in the leaves behind a fallen tree.

That green three clustered foliage didn’t worry us

By morning night dreams turned to itchy nightmares.

Late at night while we’re sleeping 

Poison Ivy came a creepin’ around…”

Blisters and red bumps covered our toes

Even had a few bumps on our nose

Mom brought the bottle of Pepto-pink liquid

Calamine lotion spread over it all like jam

Didn’t seem to help too much at the time

It still had to run its itchy course


Poison Ivy song: Youtube clip from the Coasters

Our prompt from Bjorn today was to write a poem including a poisonous plant in our poem. Come join us at d’Verse~Poetry Pub and see what everyone is doing.

28 thoughts on “Itchy

    • Thank you Bjorn. I am glad you enjoyed my story. There are some people, believe it or not, who don’t seem to be allergic to poison Ivy. Don’t know about Hogweed, but it does not sound to pleasant!


  1. Nice one, Dwght! I am lucky to have never come across poison ivy, but a very small purple weed in my grandfather’s garden once had a similar effect! I know the song from childhood and wondered then what it must look like. I love the picture you paint of:
    ‘Barefoot boys running on rabbit trails’
    Chasing imaginary figures into the woods
    Cowboys and Indians running wild’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story and fabulous poetry as well. When I was a girl, I got into a patch of poison ivy and I was too afraid to tell my mom until I was covered in the rash. She tried an old wive’s tale- rubbing the rash with a fresh cut tomato. I don’t recall if it worked, but I sure remember the agony of the rash. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I grew up in a rural area of Los Angeles (when there was such a thing) and poison ivy abounded though for some reason it didn’t bother me. My mom used to tell the story of the Thanksgiving as a girl that she used it to decorate the table. That didn’t go over so well. And thanks for the song from my youth!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I remember the song! Could be the plant, could be a woman…all perspective. I had poison ivy many times growing up. Hate that stuff! Love your memories. Lone ranger and Davey Crocket! Miss them and all the westerns! Our virtual reality was so much better back then in so many ways. Great poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice memories. Loved the Lone Ranger. Now the grandkids are playing Star Wars. There’s something about cap guns, forests and imagination. So… I went out and bought a cap (western style) gun a few months ago. All the grands are fighting over it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Outside or inside that is the question!? We spent hours outside playing and our parents did not even check on us. Sounds like the cap gun is a real novelty. I forgot all about the caps! I used to hit a whole roll at a time with the hammer. I sounded like a shotgun going off! Thanks for your comments.


  6. I have been shown poison ivy on a walking trail and was sternly warned not to touch it. it seemed so lush and pretty. I enjoyed the song and imagining young boys carefree and not letting a little itch get in the way of play. special days where we created our own games and outdoor time was the best. lovely nostalgic poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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