Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The sky pools red this Hallowtide.
We enter, ease into a pew,
And whisper prayers for those who died,
For relatives she never knew.

They’re my lost souls. She wears all black
For later when she’ll trick or treat
And thinks of candy in her sack
As I write names across the sheet.

Midway through life, caught on time’s hook,
I wonder if some day her child
Will open the remembrance book
To make sure that my name is filed.

Returning to the leaf-clogged street,
I see masked bones in revelry,
A whirl of ghouls and scuffling feet,
An angel glancing back at me.

—Steven Knepper