By September, poem by Wendy Carlisle

I’m ready for the casu­al kind­ness of fall,
ready to work the angles of chill, to

close the deal on the first hard frost and wave
farewell to the san­guinivors that bur­row in-

to the skin under my elas­tic straps
and feed on me and leave behind a his­t­a­mine

that stings like sin. When they dis­ap­pear, who knows
where chig­gers go but ticks hang around only

the cold shuts them down. When Mary got a tick
in her armpit, she had it checked for Lyme’s

dis­ease. That wouldn’t occur to me.
A cou­ple good frosts and adiós ticks.

By Decem­ber, the dogs and I walk back down
the hill to the creek and nev­er get a nip.

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