Monday, October 28, 2013

Trick or Treat, Give Us Something Good to Eat

I grew up in the 50's and 60's when knocking on strangers' doors and getting candy was safe.  Our parents dumped us in neighborhoods around town with promises they'd return in a few hours.  We had no fear of eating candy while we made our way door to door. One guy in our neighborhood never gave out candy; every Halloween he'd hang a sign on his front door: Quarantine Measles, Keep Away.

Occasionally a trick got played. TPing someone's yard. Soaping screen doors. I'd heard of burning a sack of dog poop on someone's front porch but never knew anyone who tried it.  My best friend's brother and his friends, all in high school, went out with a tool box one Halloween and dismantled backyard swing sets. They were courteous enough to leave the hardware in a neat pile.

One year getting candy while dressed as a clown was so successful that I went home wiped off the make up and put on a new face. Only one old lady said, "Weren't you here before," but she gave me candy anyway.

This Halloween I leave you with a poem I wrote for the occasion. Considering this is the first poem I have written in over 40 years, please, be kind.

Old Halloween

Dry leaves crunch beneath feet.
A black cat perches on a porch front,
eyes blinking in and out.
Clouds scurry across a watchful moon.
Carved pumpkins peek from window sills,
flashing threatening grins.
Something groans from a tombstone’s shadow.
The wind shifts, carrying the sounds
of small voices.
Bags filled with
caramel apples and
candy corn and
popcorn balls.
Discarded candy bar wrappers and
spent chewing gum.
A ghost floats down the avenue,
a zombie staggers along,
and Count Dracula offers a sharp smile.
Fairy princesses wave wands and
pirates raise hooked hands.
Door bells ring with cries for payment.
Trick or treaters loot candy bowls.
Halloween delight.

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