An armadillo works Larry’s compost—
a pile of last year’s grass—
for grubs and earthworms.
The worms love the compost.
The armadillo loves the worms.
For a ‘dillo, dead grass is an insect banquet,
and she can devastate a full-on
summer garden in a night,
her claws, sharp, curved spades,
garden killers, used to tip tomato
plants,and rummage their roots
with her needle-snout. Her sticky tongue,
flicking the dropped fruit,leaving behind
disaster. Up from the south,
Dasypus novemcinctus comes to us
through Texas, wearing her banded armor,
aiming to burrow and forage
in our mountains, to havoc our dirt,
this beast called by the Aztec, turtle-rabbit,
by the Hillbilly, speed bump.

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About the Author

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives and writes with both feet in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of four books: Reading Berryman to the Dog (2000), Discount Fireworks (2008), The Mercy of Traffic (2019) and On the Way to the Promised Land Zoo (2019) and five chapbooks.

Wendy Taylor Carlisle
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