Today's poem is by Brandon Courtney


My mother unfolds
his flannel
in their room,

the cotton stinking
of potash
& smoke,

to dress
the scarecrow

for months—mouth
unsewn, filled
with stars—

in our field.
Mawpin. Bird-scarer,

at our barbwire fence.
His denim, too,
unwashed, untouched,

last year's soil
in both knees

from kneeling.
They've returned,
the rooks & sparrows,

sensing absence
the silence of his rifle.
They've returned

to fat themselves
on his harvest.
Outside, we knot

the ankles,
tourniquet the sleeves,
stuff chaff & straw

into this father costume,
to guard against
a hunger he knew too well.

Copyright © 2015 Brandon Courtney All rights reserved
from Rooms for Rent in the Burning City
Spark Wheel Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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