Halloween Costumes; A Poem

by Hilary Horn

by Mary Harwell Sayler from poetry book, Faces in a Crowd

See, that’s why I don’t like to get close to you!


When least expected, your expression jades,

and your eyes reveal partially concealed blades

hinting a dagger glint.  “So?” you say,

calling me out with unanswerable questions


about what I mean by this or that. If I don’t

defend myself, another point quickly comes

on which to gouge me like a pumpkin. If I

protest, a sudden scramble of barbed wire


covers you like your very best shawl. But that’s

not all!  I feel as though you want to see me

squirm – or kept in line with what you find

true or good or right for you — and yet,


ironically, I want that too.  So I concede:

a trick to treat myself with cooling

quiet – a way to conserve my energy

for when we meet again on All Saints Day.

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