Poem: All Hallows Eve

Hartford NY 4.jpg

All Hallows Eve

The tree rustles, a thing alive, a reminder of the day,
All Hallows Eve.
The fabric between the living and the dead
grows thin
and you can feel the presence of the saints
that have gone before you,
far more than memories, they live. You can touch them
in every voice, every motion of your arms,
the way you sit, you feel
almost possessed.

The tree rustles. The dead leaves fall.
Slowly the fabric thickens again,
the distractions return and the ghosts that live inside you
dissipate, like November leaves.
You become yourself again, the madness of the fathers
behind you,
Strange history passing like the day, not exactly
a thing to celebrate as much as a thing to recognize
for the ghost it is.

The Tree rustles.

About this poem.

It is Halloween, a day that began with the Celts two thousand and some odd years ago, marking the end of summer and harvest, and the start of winter. It was a time, the belief went, when the fabric between the living and the dead thinned, and so they lit bonfires and wore horrible masks to frighten the dead back to their realm.

Later Rome, and still later the Roman Catholic Church would co-opt the holiday and all it’s symbols and turn the night into All Saints or All Hallows, making it a time to remember the saints and martyrs that had gone before them.

At times I look in the mirror or hear myself say something, and I hear one or the other of my parents. Sometimes that is a good thing. Sometimes it is not.

From those things, this poem.

Tom

PS – The picture was taken in Hartford, NY.

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