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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Lonely Scarecrow

Volkening Heritage Farm, June 2012

The Lonely Scarecrow

My poor old bones -- I've only two
A broomshank and a broken stave,
My ragged gloves are a disgrace
My one peg-foot is in the grave.

I wear the labourer's old clothes;
Coat, shirt and trousers all undone.
I bear my cross upon a hill
In rain and shine, in snow and sun.

I cannot help the way I look.
My funny hat is full of hay.
--O, wild birds, come nest in me!
Why do you always fly away?

~ James Kirkup

I hadn't really thought about scarecrows being lonely until I read this poem sometime last year.  I've imagined them wanting to get down and walk around, like the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, but other than that, I've always thought of them as the jolly creatures that I see around Halloween, with big painted smiles.  Kirkup's scarecrow is far from jolly, however.  When I spotted the scarecrow in the photo above this summer, all alone in a big garden, he, too, seemed more lonely than jolly.  I can just hear him calling to the wild birds, as in Kirkup's poem: Come back!  Come nest in me!

What do you think of when you see a scarecrow?

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