Halloween Poem: Invitation to the Party

Invitation to the Party

I’m out this Halloween,
out delivering invitations.

Walking down dark roads,
and quiet paths,
even padding along carpeted hallways
(I passed your bathroom, heard you in the shower,
but I don’t have an invitation for you,
not today).

I see many people along my route,
am seen by few,
invite fewer still.

My home is the woods,
cold fog and damp and the smell of rotten things on forest floor are my family;
neither fallen leaves nor twigs crunch or snap underfoot,
all dead things work for me.

The signals to deliver an invitation differ in each case,
some glow with sick or fear or desperate need,
mine is a gift given to rich and poor,
young and old,
innocent and guilty (of sin or life or love).

I come in, with your invitation, through an unlocked window,
from under the bed or out of the slightly gapped closet door,
I know the boards that creak and stairs that squeak and hinges that sigh with gentle opening;
everyone comes to the party eventually,
why not with me,
by my invitation.

A bittersweet kiss while you sleep,
the gentle caress of sharpened steel from the right when you looked left,
a lover’s embrace of pillow over mouth and nose (rough thrashing soon spent and stilled),
a leg-sweep bringing a swift tumble onto hard tile while rinsing soap from your eyes;
my invitation varies in every home,

but I always show up at the party with a new friend in tow.

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