‘Twas All Hallows’ Eve

‘Twas All Hallows’ Eve and all through the bus
commuters were stirring, but no one threw up

A passenger clipping his nails behind me
another jerking and clearing his throat beside me

I put on my headphones to block out the sound
until in Port Authority we were safely aground

The bus driver said, “Have a good weekend;” we wished her the same
“Thank God it’s Friday” was our refrain

On the streets of Manhattan, a bracing autumn day
a man spat right in front of me and blithely went on his way

I look forward to tonight with the trick or treaters—
costumes and candies and toilet paper streamers
I welcome hobgoblins, zombies, Spiderman and ghosts,
witches, Frozen, Miley Cyrus with a big foam finger and other weird folks

What I won’t abide are the Rude Ones, you know who you are–
elbowers, seat jerkers, nail clippers, hummers, near and far
people whose seats drop in your lap, those who shove you with mighty thighs
open-mouth coughers, loud cell phone talkers, you who play videos without earphones– fie!

No candy for you, this is my decree
a pox on you Rude Ones—begone with thee!

Gimme Candy, I Scan


“Gimme candy,” said the Pakistani clerk
with a long silver and white ponytail
and thick lenses in plastic pink-blue frames
―a throwback to the 70s―
at the Port Authority newspaper/candy stand.
I looked at her quizzically
and then at the package of
Werther’s Original hard candies
that I gave her two dollars for,
waiting for change.
“Gimme candy, I scan,”
she said, this time more emphatically.
“Oh,” I said, and handed it over.
She returned the candy
with seventy cents change and receipt,
no thank you.