The Back-Seat Driver on Halloween by Gary Davis

Driving alone on Halloween night,
I sense that my car is occupied.

Looking askance at the mirror,
I spy someone who long ago died.

Bloodshot eyes bulge from a dark gray face.
His bony hand taps on my shoulder.

A wispy smile creases blackened lips
as the air turns suddenly colder.

I feel a gasp of putrid breath
when his head leans into my ear.

He tells me turn left at the next stoplight.
Obey me and you have nothing to fear.

We soon arrive at the town graveyard.
My hands shaking, I proceed as told.

Now those memories come flooding back,
of a day when I was ten years old.

Four of us went swimming in the lake,
but only three kids came out alive.

The dead boy said we left him to drown;
we should have gone back for one more dive.

I said a cold night was coming on,
and the water way over his head.

The boy disagreed and cut me short.
Not as cold or dark as being dead!

Now we stand in front of his tombstone,
but instead of one grave, there are two.

The dead boy points at the empty one.
Next Halloween, that grave is for you.

Gary Davis enjoys exercising his imagination through crafting dark and darkly humorous haiku and other forms of poetry. He finds haiku, in particular, both challenging and fun. Writing haiku is like doing a miniature Zen painting and, when you look at the painting, seeing something unexpected (and maybe scary in the case of horrorku). Mr. Davis has published haiku in Tales from the Moonlit Path, Scifaikuest, Star*Line, Lupine Lunes, and It Came from her Purse (2016-2022). He has published other poetry in Tales from the Moonlit Path, Tales of the Talisman, Bloodbond, Illumen, Spaceports & Spidersilk, Zen of the Dead, Potter’s Field 7, The Hungur Chronicles and a sci-fi anthology, Kepler’s Cowboys (2014-2022).

Published 10/27/22

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