Straw Man

6 Wang illo

Yilin Wang

Straw Man

 

You stab my burlap face with needle and thread,

sew a crooked grin, forcing me to flaunt

a poor replica of your cosmetic smile.

Two buttons give me foresight.

Two pipe cleaners bent down

for eyebrows, perpetually angry.

Ropes move like puppet strings, pinning

me to a skeletal cross of wooden poles.

 

A ragged shirt and torn jeans shroud

my frame, clothes you’ve outgrown

and turned into hand-me-downs.

Plastic yellow gloves become my

zombie hands; work boots, my dangling

feet. Body stuffed with mutant leaves,

rags, garbage, shadows, nightmares

you want to bury; they sprout organs,

veins, flesh, a beating heart.

 

You abandon me at a cornfield’s edge,

rooted among dandelion confusion,

force me to terrify my winged friends

teasing villages with rowdy flights:

to guard your land, to deceive with your image,

just as you crafted me, a logical fallacy

to distract you from the hollow deep.

 

You smirk at my paralysis, find solace in my

mute existence, so helpless against

dead knots, earthworms, and lightning.

But you’re powerless as melting snowmen,

filled with longing for your translucent creator.

Clocks will shatter your fragile mortality

while I remain among dolls and effigies

forever young.

_______________

Yilin Wang (yilinwang.com) is a fiction writer, poet, and journalist based in Vancouver, Canada. Her poetry has appeared in publications like the Best of Abyss & Apex Vol.2, Abyss & Apex, Ricepaper, Cerebration, Fault Lines Poetry Journal, and is forthcoming in Bridging the Waters Volume 2. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia, where she is at work on a YA fantasy novel and a collection of speculative short stories.

 

 

Editor’s Notes: The image is a scarecrow at Baddesley Clinton mansion created by DeFacto (creative commons) but further processed in iPhoto.

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