Thomas Rain Crowe



The Names

for Charles Frazier

Whether it was the thirteen moons that night
in the cold, mountain sky,
or the woods lit up with gollywhoppers of light,
it was what we remembered as Halloween for
the rest of our lives as something so spooky
that to even say the word “haint” was a spell
we cast on ourselves and all our friends.
Even with all that on our minds,
we ran with our pokes to every house on the street
hoping for a handout, the miracle of  money,
or candy to go with our bottled dope.

We were just yardbabies, then, but
now, when we write in the night
we kindle the thought of flames—the names
that kept us warm as a whang of likker or
woozy as when we read a wishbook
or what we writ in blank books under cover of
what were our wildest dreams.
Stickerweed.
Step rock.
Stay-place.
Squinch owl.
Stingy vine.
Sheepshower.
Shoemake.
Sweet fern.
Sour mash.
Stump-water.
Snowbird.
Snakeroot.
Shuck-beans.
Shoo-fly.
Sow belly.
Sassafrack.
Sarvis.
Sang.
Shame-briar.
She-balsam.
Sugar tree.
Sweet-talk.
Play-party polecat.
Shit-slinger and sich choicey stuff as that.

            Halloween, 2012




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