The air smells black, like burnt
matches, like candlewicks.
The moon a polished silver
doorknob. It’s bitter, a chocolate
night. We dance along the street
like fallen leaves. Whispers
spark and snap from hollow trees.
We hear a sound like seeds
snickering in the dry heart
of a gourd, too late sense that some
monstrous thing has taken form
and comes clattering behind.
From dreams I know it: tall,
with gabled shoulders, blood-slick,
too many bones. A belly slack
with need. We’ve hunted up
and down these streets tonight,
filled our bags at bright porches,
doors opened in a burst of light.
Now something hunts for us.
Smoke frosts the moon.
The trees are gallows from which
shadows hang. I turn to run,
feel what might be horns against
my back. May I be faster than
my friends, I pray, may I outstrip
what comes to claim the night.
Let not this darkness take me.
Please, let it take the hindmost.
Susan Rooke is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee who lives in Austin, Texas. She has recent or forthcoming poems in San Pedro River Review, U.S.1 Worksheets, and Texas Poetry Calendar 2014, among other publications. She will soon publish her novel The Space Between, the first of a planned fantasy series.
Accompanying image was borrowed from rgbstock.
Categories: Halloween / Autumn, Poetry
Tags: All Hallows, autumn, e-zine, ezine, Freshly Pressed, Halloween, hyperbole, melancholy, poem, poet, poetry, Susan Rooke
Fantastic halloween poem. I particularly love the “you don’t have to outrun the monster, just your friends aspect,” which is normally presented as funny, but is delightfully unsettling here.
Happy haunting. 🙂
Do you get the feeling when you turn out the lights at night and make a dash up the stairs, that something is right behind you, reaching to pull you backwards? I do. And I’m old enough to know better.
How very terrifying. I like it. Happy Halloween!
This was a great post Susan! Loved it!
Very nice 🙂
Reblogged this on dliwcanis.
Some good imagery. I like it.
Very nice work. It made me shiver actually. Hopefully nothing is chasing us.
Scary! I love the smoke frosting the moon part!
The imagery in the first stanza is absolutely stunning.
Now I feel bad for not writing a halloween poem. Well done.
Very nice, loved “It’s bitter, a chocolate night.”
Reblogged this on deejayiwan.
I’m just stunned and grateful at the response to “All Hallows.” Thank you all so very much–for the time you took to read it, to comment, and for your enjoyment of the poem. And most of all, thank you to the Melancholy Editors!
Well done, said. Perfect for nights like these.
I like the part ‘too late, sense that some monstrous thing has taken form and comes clattering behind’
i reckon its like the moment you have this envy or bitterness or anything evil formed inside you… And if you dont face it, it comes clattering behind…Comes back… It will hunt you…
‘We hear a sound like seeds
snickering in the dry heart
of a gourd…’
Oh, I just love this!
Reblogged this on Viruses Of Life and commented:
Wonderfully descriptive. I love Halloween.
fantastic! Well done.