I can’t look at jumpseed without my body remembering how it felt to be five & walking home from school, that long mile & a half up the hollow, how my fingers found some obscure satisfaction in stripping the eponymous seeds off the stems, feeling them rattle against my palm, & idly pulling out clumps of translucent, shallow-rooted clearweed. They lined the road bank, two shades of green.

Freshly moved to Pennsylvania from our home in rural Maine, I had been skipped into the first grade & was just finding out that a profound overbite marked me as half-rodent. Clearweed, stingless nettle, so easily dislodged! Jumpseed, so willing to part with handfuls of your hard, green teeth! I took you for granted. I failed to learn even your common names for decades.

Again, another reminder that the blogzine qarrtsiluni, which I help edit, is soliciting contributions for a new theme, education. The word limit this time is a whopping 3000, but of course briefer submissions are welcome, too. Send fiction, nonfiction, poetry and artwork to qarrtsiluni (at) gmail (dot) com.

4 Replies to “Jumpseed”

  1. It doesn’t go away quickly, does it? I showed up with braces the first day of high school. “Chain saws!” a friend exclaimed. Once the Beav, always the Beav. (Well, adolescence always felt like always.)

  2. Apparently, common wood nettle is regarded as a good indicator of low deer browse pressure. In the last two years, it’s really been spreading in our hollow. Clearweed, on the other hand, has always been abundant — perhaps a little less so in recent years, as the understorey has diversified.

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