A scarecrow jumps down from his pole
to gather, in his clumsy straw-filled sleeves,
the litter—ticket stubs, cigarette butts, sequins,
paper cotton candy cones, flex straws, coins,
ripped mustard packets, tiny plastic shards—
cleaning his field.
A clown’s discarded red ball nose—
his prize find—he puts on his burlap face
and walks with a bit of samba in his step
back to his post, where he gazes skyward
and pretends to juggle
three circling crows.
— Sara Backer
Sara Backer has published speculative poems (or has them forthcoming) in Asimov’s, A cappella Zoo, Crannóg (Ireland), Dreams & Nightmares, Gargoyle, Hermes (UK), Illumen, New Welsh Reader (UK), Shooter Literary Magazine (UK), and Strange Horizons. She won the 2015 Turtle Island Poetry Prize for her chapbook, Bicycle Lotus, and currently is seeking a publisher for her full-length collection of surreal poetry. She lives in the woodpecker-filled woods of New Hampshire and is an adjunct writing teacher at UMass Lowell.