Sitting outside on a summer evening
brings its own peace
birds sing their commentary on the day
a breeze gives a gentle stir to the leaves
the only disturbance is the tiny buzz
the little twinge you smack without thought
the blood smear shows you got the target
or you didn’t and your fingers can’t help
to scratch the blossoming welt  

Now you want the bug spray
to keep the mosquitos at bay
and spare you inflamed skin
that doesn’t fade for days
but if you coat your arms, your legs, your neck
the smell, that prickling chemical smell,
is your uneasy companion whispering to you:  

        You can give a few drops
        and take the pain
        or have the constant reminder
        of what you wish to avoid