This year the ticks emboldened
as leaves greened,

as leaves went gold.

Nine degrees last night,
French inhale

mentholated vapor,
scroll a Twitter account:

Sappho bot (kill me)
old blood still in
gardening gloves,
perennials frozen,
Scotty Doesn’t Know,
a gift of
afternoon light,
wear marks
on the rug,
wood splits as I
pull nails from
two hundred year old
floor planks,
no magnolias
but at least tulips,
paw-safe ice melt,
a car that won’t start,
Tony Hawk Pro Skater
on Nintendo Switch,
the barn collapsing

I’m young but older
than I’ve ever been.

Blonded boy summer long past,
perhaps incoming again.

Come summer, the ticks will return
without mercy,

I’m vulnerable,
so are you.