Trick or Treat

By Nancy Lee

Four year old Wyatt, a Sheriff in chaps, kerchief,
double pistols on his hip, instructs Willie, almost two,
a puffy green dinosaur, on the subtle magic of Halloween.
Handing Willie his plastic pumpkin with the black handle,
Wyatt pushes Willie outside the screen door, slams it shut

and says, “Say it Willie… say Trick or Treat”.
First a soft whisper, Willie struggles with “r’s”,
but he stays in the game, and shouts “Tick or Teet”.

So begins repeat and repeat,
open the door, then shout “Trick or Treat,”
sheriff and dinosaur chant the great chant
all children must know before roaming the streets.

Wyatt takes it to heart and offers a cheer,
“Good job Willie, you can say it real clear,
they won’t make you stay in the stroller this year!”

Nancy Lee writes about childhood in a cramped apartment, Sunday sermons and Sunday suppers, cheap seats at Dodger Stadium, white gogo boots and her first copy of Ms. Magazine. Her poems appear in two volumes of Pepper Lane Review. Also by this poet: "Whiteout"