Halloween – Mac Hammond

The butcher knife goes in, first, at the top
And carves out the round stemmed lid,

The hole of which allows the hand to go 

In to pull the gooey mess inside, out –

The walls scooped clean with a spoon.

A grim design decided on, that afternoon,

The eyes are the first to go,

Isosceles or trapezoid, the square nose,

The down-turned mouth with three

Hideous teeth and, sometimes,

Round ears. At dusk it’s

Lighted, the room behind it dark.

Outside, looking in, it looks like a 

Pumpkin, it looks like ripeness

Is all. Kids come, beckoned by

Fingers of shadows on leaf-strewn lawns

To trick or treat. Standing at the open

Door, the sculptor, a warlock, drops

Penny candies into their bags, knowing

The message of winter: only the children,

Pretending to be ghosts, are real.