mary leonard
Trick or Treating: Crestwood 1953
by Mary Leonard

My older sister did the makeup —
I’m a bum, a hobo, a clown and so proud
to trick or treat with Mary Kay and Carolyn.

We clutch sacks and swish through leaves,
running from house to house — no fear of dangling skeletons
and monster pumpkins. We screech and laugh with

Each box of jujy fruits and milk duds plopped to the bottom
of our bags. We scream wow to candy cigarettes,
laugh at chuckles, tootsie rolls and pop open bubble gum

To chew while running through streets of English Tudors
all lit up, all strewn with orange and black crepe paper
all mothers in apple aprons smiling like June Cleaver.

No street too dark or off limits — hundreds of kids dance
like munchkins, from door to door, a litany of thank yous, thanks.
No knowledge of pedophiles, of pins in chocolate bars,

We jitterbug into the glare of street lights — we
baby boomers — dreaming of Necco wafers, taffy,
Milky Ways, caramels and chocolate kisses.

PHOTO: The author (center) with friends Carolyn and Mary Kay (Halloween, 1953).

mary leonard1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Leonard is an Associate of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College. She has published four chapbooks of poetry at 2River, Pudding House, Antrim House Press, and RedOchreLit. Her work has appeared in many journals, such as the Naugatuck Review, Red River, Earth’s Daughters, Hubbub, and most recently in Chronogram and Blotterature. She is working on a new chapbook Living In the Hyphen and a novel, Italian Ice.