Rat Poison
by Maria Masington


1975 Halloween
working class
neighborhood

Hobos, gypsies, and Indians
with flashlights
and flowered pillow cases
Trick or treat

Mother dumps
candy onto a
Formica tabletop

Checks apples for
razor blades
and candy bars
for rat poison

Yet never
looks twice
at the haunted house
next-door
where the daughters
ran away and
the father offered
kindergarten girls cash
to don swimsuits
and wash his car








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