Halloween – A poem

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Somewhere in town tonight,
a woman is discovering
her inner Sexy Pirate.

This is not to be confused
with one’s inner Sexy Witch,
Sexy Kitten, Sexy Librarian,
Sexy Bo Peep, Sexy Vampire,
Sexy Race Car Driver, or
inner Sexy Opthamologist.

She forgot to buy ribbon,
so she threads the corset’s eyelets
with gym shoes laces.
She re-poofs the sleeves
of her buccaneer blouse.

Arrrr, she says to the mirror.
the mirror sighs in return.

Once I asked my mother why
anyone would wear tights like that
to net a fish.
Wouldn’t your legs get cold?
Wouldn’t your heels slip
on the wet deck of a ship? Shush,

my mother said, adjusting the wig
on her Sexy Cleopatra.

Somewhere in town tonight,
a sitter sets out the pumpkin.
A girl studies its fat head.
They punch its eyes in, so
it can see. They cut its mouth out,
so it can smile. Now you bring it

to life, the sitter will say.
And where its seeds had been,
the girl will place a flame.

From Count the Waves (W.W. Norton, 2015).  Count the Waves is available in hard back from Amazon and will arrive in paperback December 2016.