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The Scarecrow

Donald Illich

If the scarecrow promises
not to believe in crows,
will the non-existent birds
leave him alone? Or will
they find clever disguises –
a drunken farmer, a cute
milkmaid, a lonely cow –
that will destroy his oath
when they shed their skins
to reveal mortal enemies
ready to pull him apart?
He’s not taking chances.
He’s hired a few hawks to
swoop down on strangers
who refuse to give IDs,
valuable licenses of reality
only available to creatures
that aren’t in storybooks,
baked in pies, turned into
princes, riding shoulders
of witches searching fields
for straw stuffed clothes
thinking they’re human,
real enough to hear wind
pin back the ears of corn.

Donald Illich

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