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.