Pellitory of the Wall

close up photo of a plant
I cling between wall and path to untidy your garden, 
as you crouch-cross to tug me from my crevice.
I am happy here sun-basking, drying out after rainfall.
My leaves offer shelter to bugs and beetles and	
my pinkish-red sticky stems prevent attack.

If I survive to produce clusters of tiny, white-greenish flowers 
with yellow stamens, you may see my favourite,
frequent visitor, the Red Admiral. After laying eggs
on my downy leaves, black spiny-haired caterpillars 
tickle me all over as they munch and crunch.

As with other members of the nettle family,
I provide a corridor of green space for wildlife to thrive.
You may not be aware of my herbal-healing qualities
for constipation, coughs and kidney stones.
Think again before you throw me on the compost heap.

Sue Byrne 

Sue became interested in writing poetry in 2016, after her husband died of cancer. She joined the local Maggie’s creative writing group. In 2018 she became joint Writer in Residence. She has had poems selected for “Our Beating Heart” (erbacce-press); an insect anthology (Emma Press); “Missing Pieces” (Maggies’ anthology).