Friday, November 11, 2016

Flash Fiction Friday - After Halloween

Hello friends. I'm back.

No real Flash Fiction Friday piece this week, but I will give you a brief original poem, and a promise that in this space there will be something every week. Some weeks it will be poetry, some weeks flash fiction, perhaps sometimes something a touch more substantive.

This is pretty heavy-handedly allegorical, but I suspect that to be the headspace in which many of us find ourselves around now; at least those of us who are decent human beings shocked by the national and global moves towards hatred.

More to come.

"After Halloween"

The pumpkins away
nor the plastic witch high on the tree
nor the scarecrows.

nor the pumpkins.

 I said the pumpkin already
didn't I?

It isn't just one house; there's a malaise,
a miasma
a plague of non-pumpkin removing

To gather them is no great task
Out before dawn in a dark blue pickup truck
flying wind-tattered stars and stripes

It's easy to gather up the pumpkins,
reminder of the schoolmaster's weakness
reminder of pagan rites
goard of the devil.
The pumpkins do not belong.

It's easy to gather the scarecrows
some plastic things from the dollar store
some straw-stuffing and twine.
All fake.
There is no corn here
           there are no crows.
The scarecrows do not belong.

The witches don't belong.
No need to explain why.

These all fit in the bed of the truck
under the fluttering banners
invisible in the pre-dawn dark of standard time.

It's a short drive to the shore.

It feels good,
the cool November air on your face
the faint saltwater mist
the pleasant ache in your arm
as you fling each rotting pumpkin
each vermin-infested scarecrow
each tack plastic witch
                                  as far from the shore as your arms can launch them.

Some of them sink.
Some may float, only to be smashed against the shore
by an unforgiving current.

You drive off, your work done.

Never to know which of the pumpkins
bolstered by witches magic
fed by sodden straw
will embrace their new home
will learn to swim
and will,
from the depths

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