Runcible Spoon

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(after the painting by Paul Klee)


Not even crows are frightened

by the bedraggled figure

in the poppy field

too much like a man

stumbling and drunk

from a night of revelry  

with his clothing torn to shreds

by the children playing games

with his body and his soul.


He stands in an inaudible

motionless slump

except when his tattered sleeves

like a weather vane

turn with the wind—

more amused than terrified

even the crows

know the difference

between an enemy

and a helpless old man

filled with straw.