Saturday, 31 October 2015

Dikt; Dispatch from the Home Front: Halloween 2001 av Tony Brown

like every other year I sit outside with a guitar
while kids roam in small packs
from lit door to lit door

the costumes tonight are not that frightening

angels and fairies and superheroes abound
a few bloodsuckers and ghouls
a sprinkling of skeletons
no terrorists

the adults pretend to be scared

jessie (the giraffe from across the street)
solemnly hands me M & Ms from her stash
when I put the Snickers in her pumpkin
“honey,” I tell her
“it’s not a trade – it‘s a gift”
and she solemnly takes them back

the young girl in the bathrobe and curlers
wearing the sign that says
I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON
says to me
“I want to hear you play your prettyful music”

so
I hand her candy
and I pick up my guitar
to play a song appropriate to the season
(a song by the Grateful Dead)
for this world’s recent ghosts

this world
where unimaginable ashes
sift down on children’s beds

in one part of this world
the very rocks and baseballs
smell of abrasives, jet fuel, burning rubber, corpses

in another part of this world
they are making the mail glow white
long enough to kill what lives on the words

in another part of this world
this guitar would be
illegal

in that country a shrouded woman
has been carefully picking food from a minefield
(food that was airdropped in my name)

she runs and lifts her child from the ground
raising his head high up onto her shoulder
vainly trying to keep the frightening blood from spilling too much

it will take her years to fall asleep again

when she does fall asleep
she will dream of picking up a yellow bomblet
wrapping it in swaddling clothes
suckling it until it blooms hot and bright

but she will not cry
as she holds him in that dream

we all dream that dream these days
we all hold our children closer
while holding back tears

a dream like that
is not a gift
it is a trade
we have all already given
more than enough in return for this one
and you do not let go of your tears
when tears are all you have left

Halloween night
I am pushing aside the veil between the worlds
a mourning person waiting for dawn
pretending to be scared to cover real fear
while I give sweets and prettyful music
to my neighbors’children

we are all a long way from home

if I knew the way
I would take you home

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