Waving at the Scarecrow

Every year about this time

we dream a little dream and put a scarecrow

in our yard, a friendly fool who doesn’t

scare anyone at all. Not even crows. I hear

them laughing now high up in the trees.

It’s made for fun at Halloween

when all the real ghouls and goblins emerge

to walk upright upon the earth and

people like our scarecrow, because it isn’t scary.

That’s the name we give it. Scare is our scarecrow

Because it isn’t.

I trust you get the humor.


Yesterday two souls walked by, one in charge

of the other, two pedestrians upon our sidewalk and

one waved at the scarecrow. One did not.

The hooded figure with ears plugged into tiny speaker

phones connected by wires to a box into which the hooded

figure stared did not wave at the scarecrow,

had no knowledge of its presence or autumn leaves sent

dancing by the wind or sunlit skies or glorious

shadows playing by themselves in magic corners.


No, the hooded figure looked neither right nor left

nor at the human being by its side, the disabled one,

the vulnerable one, the helpless one for whom they had responsibility,

the one who with unbridled glee, missing teeth and a smile

wide upon their face realized a scarecrow stood nearby.

The simple drooling one who did not understand, did not

need to understand, did not even ask why a scarecrow

might magically appear hand raised in salutation.

The eternal child waved simply wonderfully in return

and kept on waving as the hooded figure

dragged on ahead oblivious,

cadaverously ignorant of the lasting friendship

and inestimable affection so recently formed so near at hand,

the charming repartee between genius and

a full grown scarecrow going nowhere in our yard.


So it is and so it may ever be in this our world.

The smart ones believe and dream and see what isn’t really there.

They smile at fantasy, infantile in their gullibility,

in their delight and dead ones

left in charge stare into their screens

and see nothing but what they intend to see,

suck the filth of living death

into their brains and miss the cherished joy

of scarecrows eager to wave back.