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.