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by Carla Thomas

The snail moves slowly
up the trunk
of our sugar maple,
leaving a sticky rainbow trail
for early-morning explorers
to follow with their fingers:
a phosphorescent alphabet of horrors
done in braille.

The fireflies
have been alive
for two weeks now,
flashing their lanterns
in the summer air,
tiny mobile lighthouses.

And I have seen dark ladies
walking west in twilight,
gathering foxfire.
I have smelled their musky odor
as they passed.

And the sun,
going down
has lately seemed
a funeral pyre.
Each night the flames lick higher.
No vaccination will save us from