I Carry His Heart

Halloween was Lorin’s favorite holiday. He loved getting dressed up and greeting the neighborhood kids.

If Halloween fell on a weekend, we would get more inventive with our costumes since we weren’t getting home late from work.

On one such Halloween, Lorin dressed up as a hillbilly zombie or was it a “redneck” zombie? He was excellent with makeup from his years studying and working in the theater. He wore a torn flannel shirt, suspenders, old pants, hiking boots and carried a mixing bowl with blood (red food dye colored water) and eyeballs (fake, of course). He stirred the bowl with a wooden spoon while sitting on the stoop. He scared some kids, but one actually asked for an eyeball, much to his mother’s chagrin.

I dressed up as the “joker’s wife” (Heath Ledger’s Joker) in a housedress, torn knee-high stockings, big slippers, matted hair in a hairnet with rubber spiders in it, and white face paint with a jagged red smile.

We were quite the pair.

A neighbor took a photo of us, but I can’t find it.

I will miss Lorin at Halloween, as I do every holiday, and every day.

This poem is dedicated to him. I almost had my best friend read it at his memorial service, but I changed my mind. I would have preferred to have read it myself, but I wasn’t fit to do so.

i carry your heart with me
(by e.e. cummings)
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

‘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!

Autumn in New Jersey

 

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(photo credit: Kolchi Hunter, flickr.com)

Pipes are rattling, radiators hissing steam—it’s officially fall.
Leaves transmute like chameleons.
Pumpkins with faces, ghosts and witches populate front porches.
The smell of wood burning, morning frost on cars.

The cats lounge in furry heaps,
night falls faster.

Costumed children will knock on strangers’ doors for a trick or treat,
Something daring in that.