screaming pumpkins

by Lori R. Lopez

What if you woke

And found yourself cursed —

The clock ticking backward

Your reflection unreversed?

If the canary were tweeting

Dead-battery-chirp babble

And you drew only blank tiles

When trying to play Scrabble?


If tricksters arrived

To pelt you with treats

While the Sun was still glaring

They swarmed the streets

As if walking dead

But a lot more hyper

Squealing for chocolates

Like a berserk bagpiper


Then the asylum called

To cancel your vacation

So there was nowhere to hide

During the infestation

Of candy munchkins

And drooling rugrats

Until day morphed to night

And was gone to the bats


If things took a dark turn

Down the most awful alley

With a claw-scritching gait

Might the wicked woes sally

From a pit of depression

And the humorous tone

That had once been narrating

Reduce to a moan?


If an element of doom

Waiting around the corner

Waged a plot against you

With the veil of a mourner

To be blamed for such things

That you haven’t done

Condemned, your name tarnished

Though you injured none


If sharp fingers should point

In your general direction

From biased perspectives

That leave no protection

But the affection of those

Who would not forsake

No matter what

False accusers could take


Who denounced your best efforts

And bluntly denied

The good in your heart

That there’s more than one side

Casting doubt upon all

You do or may say

And by holding your tongue

They might wrest it their way


What if they mocked you

For things they knew not

Despite your intentions

The battles you’ve fought

To withstand the darkness

And guard those you cherish

Yet all you’ve achieved

Was dismissed and nightmarish


A barrel of ridicule

Aimed at those you hold dear

As the creeps twisted facts

Until nothing was clear

What if all you’ve endeavored

Would be misconstrued

Your life loudly defamed

The edges unglued


Held at fault for the deeds

And misfortunes of others

For the choices and circumstance

The mistakes and druthers

Belittled for your income

When you’ve given your all

To countless crusades

Then were treated with gall


When all you could be

Is who you’ve been from the start

All you could stand for

What lay in your heart

If the sky opened up

And swallowed you whole

Each word you have uttered

Would speak for your soul


What if they attempted

To erase your path

Obliterate your steps

With an acid bath

Eliminate the respect

The esteem you have earned

Out of an envious desire

To leave you burned


Such rivals and haters

Are prone to attack

In a one-sided war

Aimed at somebody’s back

Heaping lies, innuendos

To damage repute

Until you’re left as bereft

As a knight out of suit


It would be terribly scary

An Un-Hallowed Eve

Should the world turn unkind

Fraught with Make-Believe

If the pigeon flew the coop

The glass wasn’t looking

And stood neither full nor empty

While the crackpot was cooking


So be careful when you get up

Not to choose the wrong side

Of the bed as you climb out

It could be a stormy ride

A cockeyed haywire act

Of teeth-rattling superstition

Complete with mindless intellect

For the price of admission


As you carve your Jack-O-Lanterns

You may hear the pumpkins scream

There might even be some blood

As if you’re having a bad dream

A realm where everything is screwy

And truth is but a lump of clay

What you know is upside-down

And Halloween is not your day.


~ Published in POETIC REFLECTIONS:  THE QUEEN OF HATS, 2014; also in “The Halloween Gathering 2014” on SERVANTE OF DARKNESS