Got a Light?

“Here comes a group,” Bob whispered. “Summer’s almost as good as Halloween. Warm nights, no school.”

Todd nodded. “Love it. They’ve brought a goat, too. Some sort of sacrifice, I suppose.”

“Let’s wait a little. Remember, it’s my turn to ask.”

Bob and Todd stayed hidden behind gravestones. The four teenagers set up a circle of candles nearby, the goat watching curiously.

Bob gave a thumbs up, and the two of them stood.

“Hey,” Bob called out. “You got a light?” Two of his bony fingers touched his teeth as if he held a cigarette.

The teenagers stared wide-eyed at the skeletons, then ran off screaming as the skeletons watched them and laughed. The goat bleated curiously.

When You Live Inside a Pumpkin

When you live inside a pumpkin, the sudden arrival of a knife’s point comes as a complete shock–which quickly turns into fear as the point and blade come at you in a stabbing assault, so you huddle as close as possible to the interior wall until the knife goes away, the lid’s removed, and the sudden arrival of sunlight blinds my large eyes, penetrating my thin eyelids. Then the spoon plummets into the cavity, scoops out the pumpkin’s guts and seeds, only to be replaced by the knife continuing its attack, from the side this time, creating windows that allow more light to rush in and expose me even more–but thankfully not enough for the owner of the hand that’s bringing shock and awe down upon my formerly dark home to notice me. Once the knife leaves and does not come back for quite a while, my heart finally calms, and I get to see the world outside: the sky and trees and cars and people walking dogs. Then, in the evening, there’s even candlelight I can read by. It’s been stressful, but all in all a nice change.

Seeing ‘Donnie Darko’

Drawing of a stylized rabbit head with fangs.

Rabbit rabbit, you’re following Donnie around town instead of him following you physically down a hole, but it’s a different kind of following since Donnie follows your instructions how to avoid the end of the world, strange indeed to go along with the advice of a person wearing a rabbit suit, yet to keep this world alive and kicking — including, of course, your family and friends — following that advice would be worthwhile, and perhaps we shouldn’t care if nobody else can see Frank (or Harvey in another life) or the liquidy columns stretching from some people’s chests and hardly anybody believes in time travel, because if those things are important enough to you that you believe in them while some people scoff at their existence (like the Easter Bunny, unicorns, hope), then believe in them with your heart—we need comforting things around us while some people demean things, perhaps merely to feel superior.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Phony Foam Phone

Drawing of a girl holding a large, fake phone

Get that phony foam phone
away from me,
since I gotta call
Frank in Philadelphia,
on a real phone.
We’re supposed to go
fishing on Phil’s farm.
Where’s my cell phone?
I put it here a minute ago.
You didn’t sell it, did you?
Frankly, I don’t know what the heck
you’re doing with that goofy
phony foam phone anyway.

Copyright © 2020 Dave Williams. This poem is in my book, The Dancing Fish.