Ballad of a Jack-O'-Lantern


United States
40° 37' 53.5764" N, 79° 57' 10.242" W

I was a pumpkin


Grown and harvested in the richest soil

My flesh could have fed
My seeds could have rooted
My life could have been meaningful

But instead of enriching the potential I had,

I was


The top where my vines clung to my brothers and sisters was severed

Sawed off my crude hands

The loving goodness
The nutritious insides of my soul

Were pulled out.

Scraped along the sides of my shell.

It could have been prized

But it was

As trash

Left for the untouchables

A crooked smile was carved into my hardened flesh
And seedy eyes took over for a face.

What am I?

How did this happen to me?

I wait on the porch now,
Filled with artificial light

Waiting until the youth of the neighborhood
Stamp me out in the street.

Poetry Slam: 


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