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.

Little Henry

Henry Padlo & Dwight Roth April 1955 001

This photo shows my childhood friend Henry and me on our way to school. He was in first grade and I was in second. The picture was taken by my mother, just before we left to catch the school bus. We spent our young summers together during our primary school years. We got along remarkably well. We loved digging in the dirt and pretending to mine coal. The coal industry was active all around us. We had few toys, so we had to use our imaginations.  We had a wonderful time.

Little Henry   (Childhood Details Collection)

Little Henry was my best friend

When I was six or seven through ten

My neighbor Henry lived across the street

Our times together were hard to beat

Playing Superheroes, Cowboys, and Indians

The Lone Ranger, Rifle Man, and Rin Tin Tin

Henry’s Black and white TV brought it all in

We loved our summers running in the woods

Our fueled imaginations made us believe we could

Do anything be anything we wanted to be

Little Henry and I did everything together

Baseball cards, Marvel Comics, and Indian feathers

Played baseball with brother Larry and neighbor Donn

Sometimes Alvin and Leroy came along

Playing football together in Kerchner’s field

Banging heads and tackling till we had to yield

We headed home for supper our moms were calling

Running carefully to keep from falling

Big Henry and Theresa Little Henry’s parents

A finer pair not found anywhere around us

We had great fun till I was twelve

A paper route and new interests

Took us down different trails

But memories of those early years

Playing cowboys in the woods

Are the best anyone could ever wish for

I treasure them and long for more

Some have friends drawn from imagination

I had Little Henry who was alive and kicking


Photo: from our family album.