Poetry Tuesday: XI

Happy Poetry Tuesday! This week I went a little bit heavy, thinking about what costumes and Halloween parties mean to people my age these days. I don’t know if the spirit of Halloween changes as we get older, or the holiday has just changed over time. I’m inclined to think the former, since there have been myths abundant for centuries about what makes people act crazy on Halloween (imps, mushroom rings, trolls, bad faeries, etc).

It seems that at this age, instead of getting away with eating a lot of candy, people are trying to get away with a whole lot of other things, not all of them good. I’ve participated in Halloween shenanigans before, and I’m curious if other people have felt that same sense of wrong-ness that I experienced.

 

Costume

The sun goes down,
but the world’s just waking up.
Everyone is putting on their faces
to become someone else.

Boys hide their kindness
behind ugly masks
and hands that grow to snatching
talons,
taking what they want.

Girls hide their thoughts
behind yards of naked flesh
and thick layers of paint.
They chase their own glow like a
will-o’-the-wisp.

And the biggest monsters
have the biggest smiles
because tonight they
can hide
in plain sight.

It’s a real life faerie revel,
where some get so very
lost,
and others dance until
their feet bleed.

But faerie drinks aren’t for
human mouths;
they’ll have you naked
under the full moon
in no time.

Iron and rowan berries
can’t help you
here;
what’s after you isn’t
magical.

It’s the paint on your
skin
or the mask tied around your
head,
taking over and turning you into
someone else.

Those who make it to morning,
to the other side of the
paint,
don’t yet realize that
they’ve left something
behind.

Sometime in the night
they dropped something
precious.
The faerie revels require
payment,
and no one is
exempt. – CEH

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