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 in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of four books, including, The Mercy of Traffic, winner of the Phillip H. McMath 2020 Post-Publication Award and five chapbooks. Her work appears in Atlanta Review, Mom Egg Review, pacificREVIEW and this spring Doubleback Books reprinted her 2008 book, Discount Fireworks as a free download.