Mom hates Halloween, but
each year she leaves a bowl of candy on the front porch
with a sign: “Jesus is not scary.”
The cancer has moved to her eye and brain.
I wait all month to buy pumpkins and candy,
afraid cancer will outrun the Day of the Dead.
Mom is not afraid. Just before Halloween, she calls
with good news. I buy a whole cartful of pumpkins,
string orange lights on the porch.
The kids hang ghosts in our live oak tree.
On All Hallow’s Eve, Mom wears a mask
the one she wore all October during her radiation
She hands out candy with her grandkids,
telling each trick-or-treater,
“Jesus is not scary.”