The perpetually crisp Bogotá air transports me to a Flagstaff autumn: a hodgepodge of partially sunny days punctuated by cloudy torments and voracious rainfalls. The aspens glimmer with pride, and the nights whisper warnings of white dustings to come. As if they always belonged there, the scarecrows come into their prime. My dad gleefully arranges them around our yard, and the season is upon us.
His straw-stuffed friends inspired these words, and though they are several years old, they invariably remind me of the quiet peace of a scarecrow’s snaggletooth grin.
From the safety of the streetlight,
ravens mock him.
Crows scoff as they scavenge
at his feet, strutting in their decadence.
stuck in the stuff of contest
hurl manicured driveway stones at his raw patchwork face.
The battered sentinel
cocks his stationary head an inch to the left,
amused by their antics.
And from across the street,
on a creaky porch set back from the road
bathed in insect-filled light
a veteran of arthritis, dementia, and false-teeth syndrome
gives the scarecrow
a silent salute.