Kate Northrop

Female Scarecrow

The skirt flaps in our garden,
that worn cotton upon which
roses were printed long ago
yet having faded, further back
than background, are they not
more real than the remembered ones,
those opening
summers in the hedgerow?– And still,
however pale, visible
unlike your mother living in the house
years ago, years even
before you arrived–little tangle
of worry–already
too late.
And tell me, what is there
to frighten now? The barn
sails into evening,
the trees go, the road,
and waves of deer
rise from the woods to the front
of the garden. They walk
all night, past the figure
that continues–not moving–
but hanging there.

Kate Northrop
Female Scarecrow first appeared in Runes Review, Winter 2003.