Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Odyssey

Halloween Odyssey

He seeped through the mists on All Hallows Eve,
A shadowy, homeless wraith on the wind:
His grasping arm, like a stick through his sleeve,
His jacket, draped on a hanger and pinned.

Though welcomed at homes with Halloween lights,
Where smiling folks said his costume was good;
He thanked them, then ate with ferocious bites.
They didn’t know he was starving for food.

He shuffled through town as fast as he could,
Stuffing his pockets and his shopping bag.
He ate more candy than he knew he should;
Often chewing so fast, he’d almost gag.

An hour later, collapsed in a yard,
The ghost of a child, small and pathetic;
Lay moaning, shivering, breathing hard,
Full of candy now, and diabetic.

He writhed on the ground, and cried to the night,
His stomach now full of delicious treats:
Why must he suffer sharp pain and fierce fright,
And be left alone on the city streets?

He was drifting now, riding waves of pain,
When he felt a hand softly stroke his hair.
A voice said he’d never feel pain again,
And instantly, he was no longer there.

A smiling old man in odd looking clothes,
Was singing a song about life and death,
About secrets of life nobody knows,
Without stopping, even to take a breath.

He took the man’s hand and stepped through a door,
Where he met his mother, he knew had died;
Looked back at the shell, where he lived no more,
And for a second, he silently cried.

The Minstrel stepped back and he sealed the door.
He knelt by the body so still and mild,
Then he sang a prayer for the homeless poor,
And the tragedy of a starving child.

Then he prayed that this sight would do its part,
When viewed in the glare of the morning sun,
To change even one indifferent heart.
Then took out his phone, and dialed 9-1-1.

Mick McKellar
October 2014

Not all that is sweet is good for you, and costumes often conceal dark truths.


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