Poems and Poetry

Halloween 1957 | A Poem by Roy Pullam

I had no mask
As in so many times
I was forced
To improvise
I rubbed the soot
From the chimney
On my face and neck
Borrowing my father’s bib overalls
Pants that swallowed
My nine year old form
Rolling the legs up
In a giant cuff
I wrapped his shirt
Around my spare body
With his miner’s hat
I was ready
To join my friends
Heading away
From houses like mine
Houses where
There was no candy
This opportunity
Too important
To waste time
No general
Planned so carefully
Straight up Broadway
Where houses
Were well lit
Houses with hard candy
Small suckers
And an occasional Hershey bar
I hated apples
Or popcorn
Poured in my bag
I followed
A mental map
Plotted form past experience
Through the community
Until late
In the evening
Nearing ten
I made my way home
With the only
Store-bought sweets
I would see
Until Christmas
Mother scrubbed hard
On my face
The carbon
Not wanting to give way
Finally not satisfied
She allowed me
To go to bed
With the promise
Of a more dedicated
Assault on the black
The next morning
How the thought
Of the bounty
Kept me awake
As I lay
Beside my brother
Tomorrow would bring
Such sugar blessings
As I gorged
On my Halloween blessings

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