The Last Windrow: 'Ode to the Deer Fly' - I think you'll relate

If you've been in the woods or near a river or creek lately, you will know of what I speak here.

Photo illustration /
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I was accosted on my way to our garden last week.

No, it wasn't some criminal who did the deed. It was a hoard of deer flies.

They instantly drew blood and produced welts the size of a dime on the top of my head. If you've been in the woods or near a river or creek lately, you will know of what I speak here.

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A few years ago, at this same time of year, I wrote a short poem in honor of these little beasts with teeth that look like a chainsaw chain under a microscope. I think those of you who dare to venture into the woods this time of year might relate.

Here it is:


"Ode To The Deer Fly"

I lay hidden along the path you trod.
Waiting for my prey.
It makes no matter when you come.
I'll wait for you morning to end of day.

You will hear me when I come,
To hover near your brow.
The hum of my wings will get your ear,
And when I land, you'll know I'm near.

Illustration /

I've been waiting the winter long,
To come bless you with my buzzing song.
My friends will join me by the dozens,
And create airwaves with our buzz'ins.

They call me deer fly, who knows why?
I'm sure the deer did not apply,
To have me flit and hum and bite their ears.
And drive humans into fits of tears.

You can run, but you cannot hide.
When you as a target I decide.
And flailing your arms like a electrified scarecrow,
Will not stop me as under the brim of your cap I go.

I can land upon your limb or brow.
And you cannot feel me until into your skin I plow.
You may swat and scratch and cuss,
But for a time its just the two of us.

I fear not much except DDT.
I was happy they outlawed it, it gave new life to me.
The stuff they sell now to keep me away don't last for long.
In fact I'm kind of getting used to its prong.


Those who live in these northern climes,
Know that the hot weather makes my life sublime.
From late in June to the end of July,
You'll easily find me without so much as a try.

Just venture out into any wooded stretch or creek,
And I'll be waiting to ambush you, hiking here is not for the meek.
Human blood, it does not matter to me what type.
I'm a universal sucker, saunter on up, I'll have a pint!

So soon my days in the woods will be done.
No more will you see me put humans on the run.
I'll cycle out and plant my progeny for next year.
And you'll be able to once again trek through the woods without fear.

John Wetrosky
John Wetrosky (2022)

I'm a deer fly and I'm proud to say,
That I'm immune to the COVID-19 virus, that just makes my day.
But I've heard that the labs might be seeking antibodies from me,
They know I have immunity to almost any disease to which humans are weak.

They'll grind up my gizzard and fry up my brain,
And put the result into a vile to kill the virus strain.
So, I guess you could say that the pain I give is worth its salt,
In the end, I might actually give the world the cure it's sought.

I'm a deer fly. I'll be gone soon.

See you next time. Okay?

Opinion by John Wetrosky
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