We carved our pumpkins

that dreadful night

we learned how long

we could expect you to exist

in your current and only form.

Inoperable was the word

we didn’t want to hear

and as we scooped out handfuls

of that stringy pulp,

we tried to focus on your joy

instead of that small round patch of hair

starting to grow back

above your ear.

You were looking forward

to Halloween,

which would be your last,

and the costume you chose a month ago

before we were sure

the countdown was on

happened to be a skeleton

with glowing bones

and a plastic skull mask

with blinking red eyes.

Only now does it seem

a sobering choice.

We lit the Jack-O-Lanterns

and roasted the seeds

and tried to carve happy smiles

into our own faces

because we weren’t sure yet

how to tell you

or if we should,

and I hated those pumpkins

for their bright grins

and removable lids

that could so easily be replaced

after we lifted out what

wasn’t needed,

and because I knew your light

wouldn’t fade so gracefully

when it was your turn to enter

that eternal night.



DeMaris Gaunt


Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

One thought on “Countdown

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