A Halloween poem from Bruce Guernsey


Poet Bruce Guernsey, a summer resident of Bethel, offered this poem for Halloween:


My neighbor, a doctor, keeps a skull

in his study over his books perched there

like a raven, a real human skull

complete with filled, yellow teeth,

is cracked jaw clamped shut like some fat lady’s

desperate to lose weight.  With shelves

for shoulders, it just sits there

collecting dust on its shellacked, bald top,

my neighbor’s four kids and delicious wife

watched by those hollow sockets each day.

“Jay,” I finally asked, “why do you keep

that awful gargoyle up there anyway?”

My neighbor smiled one of those weird,

faraway surgeon’s smiles and handed

me the head saying, “Hold it to your ear

and you can hear the ocean.”


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