Loss of Innocence

Like all others you were born curious

Wanting to know what clouds were made of and who painted

The pink under the white daisy petals

And why does the Yellowhammer sing for bread and cheese?

You were a constant babble of sound – a stream of questions

Fascinated by nature and all Her creation


Until one day you learned the cruel side of life

That roses had thorns that stung, that the droning bees

Drove violent needles into your hand when you tried to hold them

Suddenly you knew that the tempting, red berries were bitter

And could make you sick.


Now I watch you, frowning, flinching

I hear your shrill shrieks split the air as you run

Fleeing from the droning gold-and-black-banded insects

Shunning the rose for fear of pricking thorns

Avoiding nettles like the plague


Some day I will show you how even

The cruelness of nature can be tamed

We'll pluck the young nettles to make soup and I'll tell you

How poisonous plants can heal

And how the bees make sweet honey


One day, my child, you'll learn to love

Nature once more, in all its bounty and fury

We'll celebrate her cycles together

Collecting holly at Yule, never fearful of prickling leaves

Knowing that all life has a purpose