Scarecrow Pretends

Scarecrow Pretends

by Robert Okaji


How may I claim another’s earth for myself? My perpetual

stance invites occlusion of the senses and a certain disregard

for dignity; I flap in the breeze and bits of me scatter across

the fields. Sze asks if we know a bird’s name in ten

languages do we know any more about the bird. I say no,

but I am a species of stitched remnants and expectation,

a race of one. Genderless, my hollow name holds no secrets,

no history. If I called myself Hudson would anyone recognize

my stuffing for what it is not? What flows through my clothing

but rags, straw, the useless and unwanted. Insects and their feces.

The unearned, the unwarranted. The underclass. Folly. Design.

Gift by delusion. Does attracting more crows than I deter negate

my existence? And which am I? A river? A man? An effigy, one

perception, or another? I do not frighten, but welcome. Speak

louder, that we may ignore our insignificance, our true names.


Robert Okaji lives in Texas. The author of the chapbook If Your Matter Could Reform, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Posit, Shantih, Platypus Press, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, High Window, Panoply, Eclectica, Into the Void, Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art, and may also be found at his blog,

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