Doorbells have stopped ringing,
wide-eyed shrimpetts have scadaddled
sucking on lollypops.
Tremulous hands clutch shopping-bags
filled with oodles of goodies.
Party-pooping Philistines
left peanuts and tangerines,
disappointing treats, only a mother would love.

Tattered ghosts and the grim reaper
still hover over Gothic escarpments
splayed out on lawns with R.I.P. tombstones.
Tutankhamen remains tied to a tree
in front of a house covered in creepy cloth.

Sagging pumpkins struggle to maintain
smiling faces in an orange-scented light.
A tiger cat prowls back and forth,
guardian of a garland of black leaves
and simulated bloody weapons
of the Spanish Inquisition.

A haze of scented wood smoke
mixes with the aroma of cinnamon and cider
left in Dixie cups on the cold stone steps of a stoop.
In a diorama of horror gusts of autumn wind blow
brown and yellow leaves over witchy faces.
Dangling black spiders tangle with rattling skeletons.

We play at scaring ourselves to be less frightened.
Welcoming the comfort of becoming someone else,
we grope our way through the veil of the dark season ahead.

Celebration! It’s the only way to keep our souls alive
and the menacing demons at bay.

Let’s all have a masquerade party! We’ll do the hokey-pokey,
get excited on icy Piper-Heidsieck and maybe kiss the shady lady
dressed up as Scheherazade.

Under the clear light of a naked moon,
we’ll go out and talk to the untarnished stars.