No Tricks This Year
The savor of turkey sat still on our palates, there under the sweet of apple tarts
As we perambulated our bellies, which really would rather be still
Out of our houses and into our yards.
In the streets, at first there was just a sort of…
A sort of a whispering, wheezy, dustily rattley
Rustle, rustle rustle…
Then pretty quick those little rustles were a whistle - a shriller and shriller, building whistle
And before we knew it, wow, that whistle was a hooooowl! A shrieeeek! A waaail! A whomp!
Thus presaged, in gradually increasing grades of noise
Out of the darker surrounding darkness, into our own shadowy outside spaces
Is that what they were?
All we could see were the orangey sheens of the hollow plastic pumpkins they presented to be filled.
All we could smell was their billowing, collective breath: like unto burnt spices and breads it was.
All we could feel was the cold brush of their little hands, the rasp of their scratchy sweaters
As they reached past our wrists and into our bowls, those innumerable enormous bowls we bore
Full of candy!
Brimming full of all manner of treats – of the little sweet bribes with which we sought to appease them
(“No tricks,” we whispered - whether to them, to each other or ourselves, there was no real knowing.)
(“No tricks this year,” we repeated, over and over – our mantra, our poem, our plea…)
Not a word did they reply.
And soon – not soon enough, mind you, but soon – when the last deathly chill little hand had snatched
The last of the coveted treats from the last of the bowls – those innumerable, enormous bowls –
Out of our shadowy outside spaces, back into the darker surrounding darkness, they rushed
Like vapors drawn into a void
And were gone.