The first startling snow melts.
The evidence of an odd year
disappears into wet puddles
and sodden soil, cold and drear.
So too do my hopes of forming
warm indoor parties of friends,
family, neighbors and classmates,
driven distant by disease trends.
To defeat covid, my daily mask
forces every day into Halloween.
The holiday itself is anticlimactic.
I enter November in between,
in between fall and winter,
in between despair and hope,
in between movement and stasis.
Every day, walking a tightrope,
while a divisive election enrages,
gun purchases surge, militias train,
and social media gives voice to trolls.
I have November on the brain.
Copyright 2020 Brenda Davis Harsham
Notes: The first Halloween where one of our tasks was to clear away 5 inches of snow. Then we arranged an outdoor party in icy weather, with heaters ticking, chili bubbling in the slow cooker, and mulled cider scenting the cold air. A few brave trick-or-treaters went past, but otherwise, it was the darkest and coldest Halloween of recent memory. I couldn’t get warm afterwards, for hours.