Scarecrow, what now? Once in a long
gone time, I stitched you thread by thread,
helped weave, across your wooden spine—
small thrush busy at a nest—a thatched cross
of arms, a tattered fashion of rags and rope
stolen from my father’s chest. Now, the last stalks
sway and shiver as I watch you wrecked from far away:
in low approach, the crows arrive; the seed thieves
dive and dive. The murder’s here. What now?
Two crows perch, one on each shoulder;
their talons here to unravel you. A dark caw,
a shred of feathers, one pecks the straw heart,
another claws the burlap face apart.
Should I pray? Should I turn away? Half stand
in hungry shadows, half fly in famished light.
with the disparity between these things the human response is often much like the speakers in the last two lines. We want to move on but we can’t seem to tear ourselves away - a beautifully fitting image.
- Kyle Austin, age 22
Robert Fanning, from The Seed Thieves (Marick Press, 2006