October 31, 2001

a poem by Nicole Zelniker

I was Dorothy:

checked dress blue and white

with a Toto in a woven basket

soon to be coated with candy.

Children are out there in sheets

and fanged monster makes,

pounding neighborhood doors,

grabbing fistfuls from pumpkin-shaped baskets.

Older kids, girls in too-tight mini-skirts

and boys in T-shirts

too cool to dress up as teens,

creep from the shadows, the most frightening.

I hated Halloween.

Too many neighbors to talk to

and too much candy to eat

and I’m too tired to do anything about it.

I beg my mother to take us

to the haunted house.

it’s the only part I love:

Slinking along the walls, waiting;

The high school kids

pretending to be a ghost or a zombie.

I ran, horrified and amazed

and told my friends later that I wasn’t scared at all.

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