Unfinished Business


United States
40° 53' 49.7436" N, 73° 54' 23.7168" W

Itchy wool

Green hair

Black tights

A blank stare.

Excessive orange envelops

The tiny frame.

An unresponsive figure reacting to a name.

With a wicked smile

And tiny sneakers tight in hand

She’s ready for the hunt, she hears the band.

Who plays music at this hour of night?

Where is the origin if no one is in sight?

Steered through the doorway by a guiding hand

Allowed to run, scream, play, or hide

The child stands still until urged to walk further

And by this behavior she abides.

Stopping at the first home

She doesn’t understand

Knowing we have never been here before.

Oh look, it’s a strange man.

What is he holding? Is that candy?

Like clockwork the fruit wobbles to the door.

The Jack – o – Lantern drops to the ground with a thud,

Left for dead and thrown away.

Massive stone stairs

Slate paved trail

Form the path to Sugarland today.

Cool evening air

And light misty rain

Slicks grass into a slippery carpet.

Rain masks the struggle of summiting porch steps.

Soon the little girl spots her target.

Mouth begins to water and nose hairs stand on end

As the aroma of cinnamon-apple wafts from the house.

The towering figure cradles a massive glass bowl

Approaching silently as a mouse.

She extends her hand, yearning for the contents;

He fulfills her wish, and she plods back with her take.

Colorful aluminum wrapping drops from small, clammy palms.

She has left a trail signifying conquest in her wake.

A fire is now sparked from within

As eyes grow wide and feet step purposefully

The creature is eager to reap more surprises

The ball of wool clutches her catch tightly in the bin

Encouragement to explore is no longer needed.

When they reach the fifth door,

A familiar sight

A wooden bench comes into view

The girl experiences a sudden wave of fright

And she doesn’t know what to do.

With reckless abandon she dashes away from the scene

Candy continues to plop and fall.

She sees a playground, hides behind the Elephant,

As she crouches she truly becomes a pumpkin ball.

Her speed isn’t great enough to outrun her pursuer.

Bodiless arms swoop down to clutch the runaway

But that is the problem! The fun shouldn’t end

I still want to frolic around and play.

Night is getting older and time is ticking by

The defeated captive resigns to her fate.

Looking up at the sky and then towards the fifth door

She releases a sigh moments too late.

The two enter the house.

The lights are turned on,

Bulbs shining bright as the sun.

Through the window she sees the moon

A familiar and welcome friend

His hour begins while hers is done

He knows the excitement ended all too soon.

Guide that inspired this poem: 


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741