- Age five
I wanted to be Raphael
(the ninja turtle, not the painter)
so Mom helped me select green clothes,
cut eyeholes into a red strip of cloth,
sewed a round, green pillow for a shell.
My three-year-old sister wore it the next year,
the shell nearly as wide as she was tall.
She looked more turtle than ninja.
- Age ten
Two weeks before Halloween,
my mom bought little chocolate bars
to give to trick-or-treaters.
They were gone three days later, of course.
Every year after, she bought lollipops
or candy corn or neapolitan liquorice
or some other undesirable sugary thing
that couldn't tempt the weak willed.
- Age nineteen
And so came the age at which Halloween
required you to buy fake eyelashes
and wax and shave and pluck elsewhere.
I went to a university club in Hamilton
dressed as Sally Bowles from Cabaret.
Not a single person recognized my costume,
but it sure did get a lot of compliments.
- Age twenty-three
I shell out for a glow-in-the-dark skeleton,
a large pumpkin, $40 worth of makeup, fangs
and black dye to make me Nosferatu/Dracula;
Somebody's gotta show these Twilight pussies
what a vampire's supposed to look like.
Youth of today, put the sparkles away!
Carving knives in one hand, Jäger in the other,
we carve intricate pumpkins at my kitchen table.
Cell phone camera shots document our work
before the ants can chew away the details.
Almost forgot to mention: My poem "Paper mate" has been accepted for publication in Issue 32.4 of Room Magazine. Yes indeed, I am feeling pretty awesome today.
Pumpkin carving credits: (starting from the leftmost, moving clockwise) Shayla and Andrew, Katie, Mary, Jon and Floris, and Matt.
What's your favourite or most vivid Halloween memory?