Evening comes in semi-dark.
“Mommy, can you fix my costume?”
I watch, bemused, my own get-up
Yet to be donned, it makes of me a ghost.
Once I have it on, we are committed,
Doomed, if you prefer, to chilly winds,
Mixed cold rain and snow, and an
Over-surfeit of sweet (and sour).
The city’s sirens scream, it’s time
So, out we go to join the parade
Of princesses, cartoon heroes and
Talking pigs and wabbits, all obsessed with
Treats handed out in response to the
High-pitched threat/demand uttered tonight
As in times long agone, “Trick or Treat!”
Meaningless now, but fraught in those times.
Candy and fruits are dropped
Into bags, baskets and plastic pumpkins
To be discharged as they fill up,
By their mother into spare pillowcases
When they become too heavy
For little arms to bear one more step.
But Mommy’s arms are losing strength
And I cannot help her from where I am.
I wish that I was a greater part of this,
But I wear as costume the reality of
My strange and awful condition.
In my heart I see these beloved children,
My own little princess and Wookie,
And I know I cannot be a real part of this.
My costume tells the truth tonight…
The dead must walk alone.
RC Larlham grew up on a small farm in Northeast Ohio, He was a first generation college graduate, and Master's level graduate. Trained in Zoology and Wildlife Biology, he spent most of his working life as a hazardous Waste management, clean-up and disposal specialist (don't ask). Wherever he went he told stories, stories to illustrate a point, entertain, fill downtime and generally to fill the silence. Many who heard them said he should publish, and thus was born "The Old Man and Me--Books 1 and 2." Since then he has been writing and editing the third book and writing and submitting short stories and poems.