May 5th, 2014

dark flower


Poison ivy affects the back of my right upper arm. I know the moment I exposed myself. Saturday before last, I pulled back some bushes to take a look at some eager young armadillos. I felt the rash for some days before I inspected the affected area. felt no urgency. I knew the symptoms.

This morning I took a look in the mirror to inspect the poison ivy outbreak. I found the redness to be less vibrant than expected. The itching subsided. I think about how poison ivy never affected me during my childhood. I grew up where poison ivy grew abundantly. I brushed against poison ivy and poison oak routinely. But I never got the telltale rash until I reached my twenties.

I read someplace that one's stress level affects one's susceptibility to poison ivy. Perhaps my child-like ways rendered me impervious. The onset of adulthood in this theory brought on the unsolicited opportunity to experience a new sensation. I still think of poison ivy and poison oak with a curious fondness. They feel a bit like home to me. I think of walks in the wetlands pine woods of my childhood, where the dogwood, poison ivy, and poison oak proliferated.

I know little about body chemistry. I understand in general terms that people change over time. My poison ivy infects tempts me to research the topic of susceptibility with the resources available on the internet. The answer awaits--or not--even as the itch subsides.