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Straw Men- for Patrick and others

Straw Men (for Patrick and others) There are scant few of them now, standing In the rows of my memorably failed crop. They came dressed as they were. I always complimented them. Counting on them to dispel The crows, the starlings, black eyes That have circled since before my days At a miserable piano, black keys Black notes, black words, scorched screams From the nest, mothered with a smoking tongue. My straw men would shoo those winged Sooty moments, with their stuffed smiles. But a lost girl, losing time, mind gone And more birds lined up on the sagging staves I trusted my straw men to silence my blank-eyed Arias of despair, as straw men should, yes? But fickle winds and wounding skies Dissembled the men. Sometimes they climbed Down and walked away, trailing their stuff As the caws and cackles mocked their shuffled exit. So many years, and my fields are picked over One last man barely held his own stiff spine. His straw swept and scattered by a tantrum storm, a terrible Fugue of quick black notes, bird song and magpie laughing, Left me again in my fallow place, face down Tears feeding the aging soil and spoiled seed. Goddamn them all! Damn all the straw men. Let the black wings come and do their best. I will sing some semblance of a single bright Melody, my own, soaring as a scratchy drone Over a black chorus that is now mine to direct.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2013

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