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Wednesday, June 07, 2017


by Laura Rodley

When President Donald Trump announced last week that he was pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord, Yale epidemiology researcher Katharine Walter felt gutted. “[Global warming] is already happening,” she said, “and the effects are already here.” Walter studies Lyme disease, the tick-borne illness that’s spreading frighteningly quickly in the Eastern and Midwestern US, due in part to climate change. Lyme cases have more than doubled since the 1990s, and the number of counties that are now deemed high-risk for Lyme has increased by more than 320 percent in the same period. 2017 is also shaping up to be a particularly bad year for Lyme. “These effects of climate change will be felt globally, but also here in the US,” Walter said, “and here in New York, in Trump’s backyard.” —Vox, June 6, 2017

So quick these late springtime ticks
brown ones, tiny black ones, ones
with orange bellies, crawling
on my pants, on the underbelly
of the horse, attaching themselves
even to the paws of my dog.
Relent I ask, but there’s no
connection to the mind of a tick,
no telepathy, they have only one
thing in mind and that’s appeasing
their hunger, fast, and they’ll
climb anywhere to get there;
they are not even afraid of your hand
reaching down for them:
they have no fear,
maybe they have no eyes.
Certainly I haven’t seen any eyes yet,
but boy, they know how to march
carrying lyme and anaplasmosis
in their bite. Relent, ticks, relent.

Laura Rodley's New Verse News poem “Resurrection” won a Pushcart Prlze and was published in the 2013 edition of the Pushcart anthology. She was nominated twice before for the Prize as well as for Best of the Net. Her chapbook Rappelling Blue Light, a Mass Book Award nominee, won honorable mention for the New England Poetry Society Jean Pedrick Award. Her second chapbook Your Left Front Wheel is Coming Loose was also nominated for a Mass Book Award and a L.L.Winship/Penn New England Award. Both were published by Finishing Line Press.  Co-curator of the Collected Poets Series, she teaches creative writing and works as contributing writer and photographer for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.  She edited As You Write It, A Franklin County Anthology, Volume I and Volume II.