The children are a dinosaur, empress,
S. Holmes, Consulting Detective, headless
horseman. Pillow cases at the ready.
We’ve eaten treats, bought new already,
set up CD’s to play horrible groans,
put the cat where it won’t hear the weird moans.
One parent going with the kids, the other
staying home to answer the door, they’d rather
both troop with the laughing kids through the night
no matter how old they stll love the sight
of the dark cool wind-rushing dark, the lights
on the houses where all the folks delight
in the bright-eyed little ones who look so sweet
whether dressed as a princess or in a sheet
and who can’t believe it is really true
that once costumed all you have to do
is knock on a door and call “Trick or Treat”
and you will be given candy to eat.
Once home they dump their sacks on the floor
compare what they got, trade, see who got more.
One by one they drift off to bed, leaving
their two parents who can’t resist thieving.
Young blood now gone to bed,
house fills up with the dead.
Ghosts seem to float
on the front door, the mantelpiece,
graves, evil done, like Hamlet’s looming father.
A skeleton’s hand
protruding from a white silken sleeve
sneaks over the top of a carved willow chest,
pulls in vain at its heavy rim.
An old ceramic pumpkin,
crackly as an ancient bowl,
has a grin as snaggly-toothed as Yorick’s.
The evil-eyed witch is where she belongs,
the cupboard empty of Snickers.
The parents are with “pleasure filled”.
The children sleep.
The ghosts creep
back to their graves.