Mom and I owned only rags,
And stayed hungry for lack of food.
The utilities were always shut off,
He drank while momma stewed.
For days we had cried, our
Stomachs ached from emptiness.
Again, he was not yet home,
Bringing Momma more distress.
With painful eyes, she put me to bed,
Then tucked me in good and tight.
She whispered, “Son, please don’t get up,
For you know it’s Halloween night.
You might hear strange noises,
Just close your eyes and count sheep.
Child, no matter how frightened you get,
Stay covered and try to sleep.
I promise we’ll have a better life,
Though he has tricked us for years.
Tomorrow we’ll have a Halloween treat,”
She winked through her bitter tears.
But knowing his evil brought me unrest,
So, my imagination was fully alive!
Then Mom made her way to the next room,
Waited patiently for him to arrive.
Around midnight he came home drunk,
Yelling and pushing Mom around.
Then suddenly he screamed, “Oh God no!”
There followed a loud banging sound.
Next, I heard agonizing moans,
and what sounded like a cracking tree limb.
Suddenly, it became deathly quiet,
Except for Mom humming a hymn.
I dared not move a muscle,
I could hear the axe chopping hard.
Mom was singing, “It is Well,”
From somewhere in the back yard.
Then just above her tender voice
Came the unmistakable sound,
Of our old squeaking meat grinder
And Mom clanging pots around.
In the morning I asked, “Where is he?”
Mom said, “He won’t be back no more.
Come sit down, we’ve got fresh sausage!”
Then I noticed a red tint on the floor.
I said, Mom, “This sure tastes fine!”
She was wiping red spots on her gown.
She smiled saying, “It’s an old recipe,
Years ago my mom handed down.”
Thinking back on that Halloween night,
Those noises I never understood.
It turned out to be a great Halloween,
And that sausage was mmm, mmm good!
© Loyd C. Taylor