On Halloween we dress our children
as ogres and monsters
and the most frightening nightmares,
ill-fitting costumes
on these little innocents.

As we send them up
into the squares of porchlight
we ourselves stand in the dark,
dresses as fairy princesses
and knights in shining armor,
costumed in respectability.

But beneath our armor and tiaras
breathe the monsters of fear
and racism and violence,
and the demonic spirits
in whose thrall we name others as Other,
ogres who willingly abide slaughter
and feast on the pain of others.

In the dark we can’t see
beneath the suits and crowns
how perfectly those costumes fit,
nor how beneath them
are soft bodies, hungry hearts,
and the fragile rising
hopes of children.

   —October 31, 2018

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