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The scarecrow wears a wire in the top field.

At sundown, the audiophilic farmer

who bugged his pasture unpicks the concealed

mics from his lapels. He's by the fire

later, listening back to the great day,

though to the untrained ear there's nothing much

doing: a booming breeze, a wasp or bee

trying its empty button-hole, a stitch

of wrensong now and then. But he listens late

and nods off to the creak of the spinal pole

and the rumble of his tractor pulling beets

in the bottom field, which cuts out. In a while

somebody will approach over ploughed earth

in caked Frankenstein boots. There'll be a noise

of tearing, and he'll flap awake by the hearth

grown cold, waking the house with broken cries.

The Scarecrow Wears a Wire

Paul Farley

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translated from the Ukrainian written by
Halyna Kruk