An Ode to the Scarecrow by Caitlin Tina Jones (Lucent Dreaming Issue 12)

There are times that I double-take
A split-second’s slow thinking, the staggered
Navigation, transgressions melting away

When flesh drips from me I lose myself, entirely
The waxy reds, wet pomegranate seeds slicking
My dresses. I remember distantly I am sentient
A living, a breathing something. I materialise from obscurity
Echoing limbs pulling fingers from faraway pies
Stapling together this misty body to remind me
Of my greatest vice: that I am not just conceptual

I never feel less womanly than on the bathroom floor
Limp and flinching, an aspirant flounder, suffocating
Uterine machine grinding, evicting meaty tissue my body
Will resculpt until it dies, a succinct blue statement
In response to my torrid fury. I bleed like a biro
Clenched too tightly in your mouth, this tiny violence,
The bursting of a grape, juices squirting, parched

There are sobbing hours I seek sterility from
Vicious cycles, to rake the land of fruits, to scythe
Those foggy cry violets, a beheading, praying
To be nothing at all – just the scalping February air
A scarecrow posed in the fields, stuffed with hay
And little else, sickle guts spilled to the elements

(Show me womanhood and I will cringe away
A thunderclap of violence, a strange and foreign
Glimpse into a world I used to spectate, dizzied by
The whirling weight of that role, imaginary toll
Ticking up, the wailing work of spouses and spawn
And I explode all the same, shucking the skin that
Holds my womb, shredding it in my hands
And I am finally empty, void of that deathly pouch
But flesh is pulled, nonetheless.)

Caitlin Tina Jones is an avoidant BA English Literature and Creative Writing student at Cardiff University, and originally hails from Hengoed, South Wales. In 2022, she was a recipient of the Walter Swan Poetry Prize and she’s lived in a perpetual state of shock ever since.
T: @caitinajones | I: @caitinajones

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