Under the magnolia tree,(a gazebo of thick pink petals)
we find a plummy crimson quilt of tiny blooms.
At first, the children and I are puzzled.
Magnolia babies, says one. Clover, guesses another.
We lie down on our bellies to get a closer look.
In dappled light we note the whorls of reddish-purplish flowers,
hooded like Capuchins with blushing faces,
leaves bent into hearts, toothy stitches, straight stem seams.
A knowing friend identifies them. Red dead-nettle, she says. No sting.
The children decide it’s a blanket for bumble bees, a sleeping bag for caterpillars.
They give it a new, less macabre, name.
Pretty Not Nettle, they call it. And it is.
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- Quilt (Lamium Purpureum) - 10th March 2023