A man flaps on a pole,
fluttering rags of surrender,
with a head, orange and round with a rotted, seedy smile
kissed by birds.
Crows hawk at the floppy figure.
Their feathers rustle, a hundred voices
whispering without words.
Triangle eyes see the hiss of the wind honed by drought and dust,
stripping moisture from farms
at the crossroads grained with yellow powder.
The man on the pole–the man in the wind–isn’t really a man–
though he might have been
in his dreams but straw cannot dream
of ba-ba black sheep,
and he’s too busy worrying
the birds don’t give a flying
toss, nibbling at his pumpkin brains.
If he could only cry, it would rain.
Hold your scare-crow nose squarely.
The crows scream as they struggle in a flurry of grey feathers.
The man on the pole wilts, poked on the insides
by needle-dried straw.
Someday you’ll be the smartest,
just you wait and see. Dying trees
rattle their tambourine leaves.
Pulpy neurons, electrons, nuclei in pumpkin seeds fizz and short
until they’re bird feed.