halloween's not scary when you're an adult

halloween's not scary when you're an adult

Kim Salac
Media Staff

remember when you were too small to trick or treat
handing out candy corn by the door in defeat
you were pretty brave, mostly alright
except when a zombie jumped into the light
they found it funny to make a kid cry
turning happy halloweens into a lie

remember when dad was gone four days in a row
and mom was crying near the old phone
pitch black living room
wedding photos with no groom
faint, helpless crying from the baby upstairs
peeking out blinds and saying your prayers
hope haunting headlights head your way
a child’s costume on display
the dark driveway glares back, cold
the scariest stories are left untold

remember the ipad
where you would play minecraft
pixel skeletons jumping on screen
why do we never say what we mean?
you were bored as they dissolved into dots
in the kitchen, the clanging of pots
wondered if dinner would be pasta again
or a shattered plate and calling your friend
last night a skeleton popped out of the ground
you didn’t startle or make a sound
just buried the bones where they were found

remember silly bandz and stickers
shaped like witches and whiskers
casting spells, you cast one as well:
please, tonight, don’t let them yell
the villains in the movies seem terribly nice
you didn’t know love came at a price
“Happy Halloween!” your friends say in class
dumping more of those bandz in your bag
it’s either that or more candy corn
why isn’t there ever enough time to mourn?

remember the first year you ever dressed up
an arm made of tin foil and a diagonal cut
who are you? they ask. you’d like to know too
bucky barnes, you say when you enter the room
costumes, costumes, smile for the flash
make sure your outfit doesn’t come in last
it’s been halloween since you were seven
but the party’s not ready for that kind of confession

remember halloween, halloween
the holiday nightmare of your dreams
there are scarier things
than clowns and men
like bugs with fangs
and playing pretend
driving too fast, absent fathers
failing school, broken mothers
silly bandz and candy corn
plane turbulence and being born
dress up again so you can be seen
happy happy halloween