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
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.