Ode to Dermacentor Variabilis

Little tick on my arm
your pinch and the oriole
signal it’s springtime.
Wood tick on my arm
your bite and the peeper frogs
celebrate summer.
Vicious tick on my arm.
Birds hunting nicer bugs—
your mouth still sucking.

To protect against ticks follow the following guidelines (Ya, right):

Tuck pants into socks, keep shirts tucked in. Do regular tick checks of your clothing and body. Use insect repellents according to label directions.

If a tick is found attached, use tweezers to remove it with a slow, steady pull that will not break off the mouthparts. Do not use a smoldering match (like I’ve done). Disinfect the area. Save the tick in a freezer bag for identification.

Keep the grass mowed to 3 inches or less, and trim back vegetation along walkways and paths.

For more info, visit the American Lyme Disease Foundation http://www.aldf.com/lyme.shtml

About Smallpeace

Michele Karas is a poet, essayist, and longstanding professional copywriter, who currently works for a top-five US book publisher. Her poems and prose have appeared in literary journals, including Tinderbox, THRUSH, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Narrative magazine, among others. Michele holds a BA in Journalism from San Diego State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY, The City College of New York. Find her on Twitter @small_peace.
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