Peanut butter moon
by Kate Garrett

When I was ten I was a ghost: a white painted face with skull-deep black ringed eyes that clouded the apple-bobbing water like a drowning pool. That year All Hallows Eve tasted of graveyard dares & candy corn melting on the tongue, savoured, my double digit age distancing me from the too-big skirts of the greedy glittering gypsywitch days of fourth grade, the treasured pirate stripes & gold I wore out every other year before. I floated between tents & RVs, campground trick or treating, pushing through maplesmoke, guided by the glow of turning burning leaves on bonfire beds, air crisp yet heavy like a caramel apple. Skipping down the spook trail, spying masked faces blending with grey light, I emerged from the trees, one Reese’s cup clutched like a dark moon medal, everything else was Tootsie Rolls & Butterfingers: too sticky, or too crunchy, but consumed all the same – consolation prizes for coming back from the dead.

PHOTO: The author dressed as a Pumpkin Fairy with her youngest son (the werewolf) and eldest son (the devil) – and snapped by her middle son (not pictured, but dressed as a zombie), before going out to Fright Night in Sheffield, UK (October 2011).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem was inspired by a clash of related Halloween memories when I looked back through my childhood: Reese’s vs Butterfinger, the campground Halloween spook trail and trick or treating, the way my costumes changed (or didn’t) through the years of primary school. Halloween has always been my favourite day of the year, and it always will be.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kate Garrett was born thirtysomething years ago in southwestern Ohio, but has lived all of her adult life in the UK. She writes poems and flash fiction, and edits other people’s poems and flash fiction. Her work appears here and there, most recently or forthcoming in By&By Poetry, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Melancholy Hyperbole, Slink Chunk Press, and After the Pause. Kate’s latest book of poetry and flash fiction, Bewitched and Other Stories, was released by Pankhearst in August 2015, and her second full poetry pamphlet, The Density of Salt, is forthcoming from Indigo Dreams Publishing in 2016. She lives in Sheffield, England, with her three sons, a folkmusicianpoet, and a cat.