Thursday, January 30, 2003

Killing the Parasites

by Jane Kenyon

That year I discovered the virtues
of parasites as companions: they don't
argue, they don't ask for much,
they don't stay out until 3:00 A.M., then
lie to you about where they've been....
I can't summon the ambition
to describe tapeworm segments:
they resemble small pieces of rice.
They are one of the few I've seen
in a bowel movement or clinging
to the hair near my anus. If I had
the ambition, I would certainly
place them in a small container
and take them in to my GP for pos-
itive identification along with a
fecal sample. Several types of worms
may be involved, and it is important
to identify all of them for proper

Like Hamlet I rehearse murder
all hours of the day and night,
considering each dump as
possible compost pile or grave ...
The truth is that if I permit them
to live, they will go on causing
changes in appetite, coughing,
diarrhea (sometimes with blood),
weight loss, a rough-dry coat, or just
an overall poor appearance.