MN Poetry: Bevery Rollwagen’s “Halloween”

Bevery Rollwagen has published two collections of poetry: She Just Wants and Flying. Many of the poems in Flying draw from Rollwagen's 18 years working as a stewardess. However, as summer turns to fall and we enter the month of October, I found myself drawn to this poem:


Here they come again, hollering

through the streets, only this year

the parents come dragging after

them, some of the dads holding

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brown beer bottles. The tiny

kids trip up the steps, too scared

to make any sort of threat. The

big kids say it for them and hold

out their pillow cases and brown

bags leering in their lipstick and

hockey uniforms. There is always

one kid who grabs a handful instead

of just one or two of the little candy

bars. That's the one I love. That's

the one I wanted to be but couldn't.

The Grateful Dead sang, Too much

of everything is just enough. Tonight

we are not dead but we are grateful,

so I say, go ahead and take as much as

you want. Take as much as you need.

- "Halloween" by Beverly Rollwagen, as it appears in her collection Flying, published by Nodin Press. Reprinted here with permission from the publisher.