A rumor borne of children talking, what befell All Hallows’ walking
Whispers of “this boy I knew” who on a cold damp sidewalk laid.
Which house on which dark moonlit street, gifted him his final “Treat?”
A Taffy Apple sealed his fate, a “Trick” malevolently played,
by deftly hidden razor blade.

What evil felled him lurks anew. Perhaps hid deep in Charleston Chew?
Does M&M stand for good? Or rather Murder & Maliciousness?
What vileness skulks in Tootsie Pop? Or sprinkled o’er a Lemon Drop?
Might Snickers creamy nougat hide a whipped suspiciousness?
Is blight twixt Twix deliciousness?

So Child attend what you’re receiving, less tainted it by foul deceiving
make Chuckles cry or Pixies sick or unleash a beastly Gummi Bear.
Red Hots that leave the tongue inflamed or Jawbreakers that do as named.
Lest you deny and lack despair and Trick–or–Treat without a care,
I have for you but just a prayer.

The orange moon is for the dying, deny their songs of baleful crying.
Don’t swap Hallow’s hay ride for one on a crepe-draped hearse.
And while in darkness and costume go, note what’s cheerful isn’t so.
As if an early death was not enough I pray you heed this verse,
for fear of finding something worse.

—by Jim Coudal, with props to Hilaire Belloc
Happy Halloween from Coudal Partners.