The Night Before, poetry by Michael H. Brownstein at
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The Night Before

The Night Before

written by: Michael H. Brownstein


Night, cool, a slight breeze, less fanfare,
a scraping of moon, bright orange.

Spit of mudpuppy, the left fang of rattler,
burnt flesh from the left shoulder of a virgin male.

Suddenly, a fierce blast of wind.
Every pumpkin from every porch in town vanishes.

In the deep woods, a clearing,
one large cauldron boiling over.

Soon everyone who is invited is present.
No one speaks. They greet each other:

strong bear hugs, a firm kiss to the forehead,
a gentle one to the wrist, easy handshakes.

Pumpkin meat fills the pot to overflowing.
When all is consumed, they slither into darkness.

One person takes away the cauldron, another
hides the fire and covers the clearing with deer forage.

We wake to fresh air, the strange scent of cinnamon,
step outside for a game of flag football.

Later, moments past dusk, we begin
our night of trickery never asking for a treat.

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