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Poem-a-Day

The Blind

THE BLIND

The hunters who obtained permission
From our father to fire at the flocks
That passed southward over our land
Every autumn concealed themselves
Behind a blind of chicken wire stuffed
With cornhusks. Thermoses twisted
Tight on columns of black coffee,
They watched the gray sky while
We watched them from the burn pile
We were forbidden from passing beyond,
As if we were the ones in danger.
To draw the living down to where
The guns might touch them, they set
A flock of decoys to grazing in the field.
Each had a long spike for driving it
Into the ground, along which was
Written in raised plastic: Made in China.
When the hunters went home we walked
Amongst them, frozen in their poses
Of grazing, doomed to perpetually peck
At the kernels the combine had missed.
Their eyes were red beads. They were
The blind, their purpose to be seen,
To reassure the living that their kind
Had deemed our farm a peaceful place,
Where spilled corn was abundant
And they would come to no harm.
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