The Man of Straw

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The hair on Blue’s back rises;

her Australian Shepherd skeleton lowers as

she stalks the man of straw.

 

Crunchy carrot nose, brittle wheaty smile,

he was born from waving fields to

stand still and

wait silent.

 

It is Thanksgiving.

 

In my neighborhood:

Branches shaped into deer,

pine cones circling into wreaths,

men made of snow.

 

This is what we do: We wrestle and imagine,

we fumble with nature,

we crave creation.

 

Blue does not know what to make of this quiet man.

She lingers expectant yet confused.

She looks at me over her shoulder,

then retreats on careful paws.

 

She tells me to

Leave what does not attack you

alone.

 

I don’t leave things alone.

 

So many branches I tried to bend into wreaths.

So many snow men and women I created and destroyed.

So many efforts, desires, heartbreaks,

So many angels in the snow.

So much wrestling and fumbling with nature that I am glad

when I can look in the mirror

and love who I see.

 

Today, it is Thanksgiving.

 

It is time:

 

Leave what does not attack you

Alone.

 

It is time for peaceful treaties

with men of straw.

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