Our gap-toothed pumpkin face is carved and lit
And witches' squadrons ride our windowpanes
While vampires, devils, ghouls--in counterfeit--
Seek treats or trickery at our door again.
My children hold me tightly by the hand
As I escort their Halloween debut
And shrink from every boisterous beggars' band
Because they fear the trumpery is true.
So I explain and soothe and hold them close
And tell them all is clever-made deceit--
Each Frankenstein, a playmate grandiose
Each ghost, a neighbor child wound in a sheet
But yet--a sound, a touch, a shadow--hark!
I glance behind my shoulder in the dark