Robert Burns

James Child
Traditional Ballad

Kate Finley

Thomas Hardy
Withered Arm

Robert Stephen Hawker
The Botathen Ghost

Washington Irving
The Legend of Sleepy Hallow
                                 Halloween by Kate Finley (2002)

      We cut out gaping holes in gourds
      and peep into cavities
      where the soft eyes of our
      parents used to be.
      Owls and cats know what's what.
      Under a large open moon
      they watch for signs
      as we walk on toward
      the fire that consumes.
      There will be restitution,
      a price to pay, maybe
      not tomorrow, but soon.
      When boys on the cusp,
      hooded and masked,
      will stand on the doorstep
      revealing little else but hunger
      and mothers will still wait
      outside, fearing the child
      will be swallowed up
      by the wild lit window,
      where a small candle makes a
      warmth within the fearsome thing.