Trick or Treat

At Halloween, you wax poetic
on roaming packs of kids frenetic
trick or treating, gorging chocolate,
razor blades be damned. You walked
and ran and roamed the streets,
bands of ghouls on tireless feet,
laughing, shrieking, no cell phone
so no one told you to come home.

Now you watch your kids. No daring,
urging them to please be caring.
Don’t slip & fall! Please & thank-you
no matter what those people gave you,
thanks for pencils, teensy toys--
act like you are overjoyed.
Be polite, please, and be safe.
On sidewalks, parents congregate

Hovering over progeny,
protecting them from everything.
Meet your neighbors on Halloween!
Friendly chatter, then never seen
again until this time next year.
You’ll re-introduce then, never fear.
Retreat into your house again,
reflect on childhood now, and then.

For Fireblossom's Friday/slash/Halloween prompt. This doggerel is my first offering for 30 Poems in November to benefit Center for New Americans in Northampton, Massachusetts. The poems can only get better from here! Please consider sponsoring this ridiculous yet noble activity at any amount. Thank you, dear Readers!
Marian’s 30 Poems in November fundraising page


  1. Yes! "Reflect on childhood now, and then." Such a change - so many terrors lurking in the world now. Loved this, Marian. Loved your kids' costumes, too, on facebook.

  2. Ha, oh, yes. (Though, trick or treating when I was child in rural America meant getting in a car, driving ten miles, piling out, getting candy, and repeating.) But everything you described about NOW? Yep. Yep.

  3. Halloween has never been big over here, but I can certainly understand how different it must be for parents who grew up in a more innocent time to trust anything anyone gives your child to eat. I saw a caution on a news blog, warning about marijuana lollipops, especially in states where it is legal. The mind boggles.

  4. Yes, times have definately changed and this fear even in our own neighborhoods brings violence and terror too close to home. Should we be more daring? Only on the streets where we know who is watching whom!

  5. I am old enough to remember those gloriously unsupervised Halloweens!

  6. It is interesting how times change and how protective as a society we've become. That said I don't have children and the truth is if I did I'd probably be overprotective too.

  7. This was really, really lovely. I came over from Jenna's post and am just so glad that I did.

    1. thanks for coming by and glad you liked it! :)

  8. Doggerel is mighty darned devilishly good.

  9. There's a helicopterish quality to parenting now, while the same quality is absent from neighboring! Crazy. You capture it well. I will check out sponsorship. Thanks. k.

  10. when I finally get some money again, I hope to support all my poet friends :) ~

  11. Yes. It really is different - and your poem is so true about most neighborhoods these days - don't even know last names! sigh.

    1. i know hardly any first names. just a few.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!