The lines in this night sky are oval going a bit gaunt,
& the ghoul speaks shrilly at the very bottom
then the sound catches the branches and brown leaves.
A cackling sound follows and continues
as the wind learns the oval’s words
and brings them to my front windows.
Ghouls are Halloween dress-ups, we like to say
as we treat them with Hershey’s Kisses Halloween night,
hoping they’ll stay away till next year and longer.
But tonight isn’t Halloween, and the howl at my window
hasn’t the anguish of anything human.
Roberta “Bobby” Santlofer (1943-2020) was a mother of sons, an avid reader, and a poet. A posthumous collection of her poetry is forthcoming.