Halloween in the United States, 2017

We learn that Irish folk
carved turnips
to light the way of welcome
for wandering spirits,
and Mexicans picnic in graveyards
with tamales and empanadas
pan de muerto,
calavera de azúcar,
and great baskets of marigold
to honor the dead.

Here, turnip becomes pumpkins,
and small costumed children
carry pillow cases
with parents lurking behind bushes,

but behind them I see ghosts
of world wanderers —
a long beggars night
of Syrians and Rohingya,
of those awaiting deportation
from prisons cells,
and those denied visas
because of their homeland’s name,
while the Statue of Liberty
stands as our tallest
this sad year of trick or tweet.

And as for the Day of the Dead,
I begin with those I love,
then also children
of the Mexico City earthquake,
the wind-slain of hurricanes Harvey
and Irma and Maria,
the broken of Barcelona
and London and Charlottesville,

those who were in the wrong place
at a Berlin Christmas market,
a Quebec mosque,
a Coptic church with palms,
a Las Vegas concert, a Mogadishu hotel,
and so many others.

This year I carry a great weight
in marigolds.

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5 Responses to Halloween in the United States, 2017

  1. dabar96 says:

    “…this sad year of trick or tweet.”

    You hit the nail on the head. Sadly — sickeningly — the nail’s point is poised over the temple of the least among us, and no one seems capable of stopping the hammer’s momentum.

  2. O’God, Hear the prayers of your people, the suffering, the pain, the hurt, so many are in great need. Hear the cries of those who have lost everything. Help us as your children to reach out to our neighbors who need so much to rebuild their lives. You have called us to love one another and now is the time to do so. Thank you Jesus that our Church in Little Rock are reaching out to those to whom are homeless !!! We are feeding, giving of our time to serve. Forgive us Lord for spending lots of money on Halloween, instead giving it to those in need. In the sweet name of Jesus I pray. Amen and Amen

  3. Maren says:

    Amen and thank you for your faithfulness.

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