Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Scarecrow by JOHN MONTAGUE

Scarecrows grow scarce 
since we no longer till fields.

Funereal figures 
standing in the midst of harvest,

they flapped wildly in the wind 
though never moved.

They wore the old clothes 
of the dead men of the household

with sometimes a cap or a hat 
which would often blow off.

Crossed staves in a field, 
a home-made crucifixion,

or the gaunt autumnal brother 
of the rotund snowman.

But I forgot the shrewdness 
of the carrion crow. Before 
the crop was gathered in 
I swear I saw more than one 
of those jagged black birds 
happily settle on the arm 
of that structure meant to warn.

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