That October Night
Sue Scalf

I never knew you well.
But today your obituary,
my high school classmate,
my age. 
I can remember
a Halloween party,
a kissing contest,

dry lips hard-pressed
to dry lips,
and breathing
through noses.
I even remember
what I wore,
and how I hated Carla

bobbing for apples
and dressed like a princess.
I bobbed her head
under the water. I should have.
It was at Mack’s house,
my first real crush.
And then this. You gone.

Mack gone. And I am living
Halloween, ragged, half-drowned.
surrounded by the grotesque--
never a princess, often a clown,
memory as clear as water
and bright as apples 
that October night we won.

Return to Spring 2007 Table of Contents