We Burn the Formal Scarecrow

Catherine Weiss

When the days grow short and cold,
We burn the formal scarecrow.
We place him up upon the cross;
He wears an old tuxedo.

We douse him in some kerosene,
Set alight his natty tie;
The night is raw — this bitter wind
Means scarecrow now must die.

The flames whip up in frenzied bursts,
Consuming him entirely.
Cries of pitied shock ring out from we
Who watch this show, so fiery.

In winter we will spread the ash
O’er fields and snowy crests.
There the formal scarecrow lies;
In cinders he will rest.

When the springtime comes at last,
We sew cufflinks in the earth,
And from the end of scarecrow
Comes a gentle kind of birth.

Summertime is when we work;
There’s little need for prayer.
When the days are long and bright,
We harvest formalwear.

CATHERINE WEISS is a poet and author living in Northampton, MA. More about her work can be found at catherineweiss.com.

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