Date: October 9th, 2013

Halloween Disguises

by X. J. Kennedy

The Forgetful Wishing Well by X. J. KennedySomething’s come over pumpkins.
They’re not themselves.
Those innocent bumpkins
Seem changed to wolves.

Now a flickering flame
To each shell arrives
And they bare zigzag fangs
Thanks to kitchen knives.

Even kind Constance Bunting,
Gray-haired, grand-maternal,
Into paper napkins counting
Each candy corn kernel

As she lovingly plans
Trick-or-treat donations
Seems a witch who intones
Evil incantations.

Even commonplace cats
Of familiar mew
Look outlandish as wizards
From Katmandu

Who with magic-wand tails,
Yellow eyes appalling,
Greet the round moon with wails
And caterwauling.

Copyright © 1985 X. J. KennedyFrom the book The Forgetful Wishing Well. Published by Margaret Mcelderry. Reprinted by permission of the author.

About The Author

Children's Poet X. J. KennedyX. J. Kennedy grew up in a New Jersey town surrounded by arsenals and dynamite factories, which kept blowing up and knocking all the windows out of his school.  His real name is Joe, but he stuck the initials onto it to sound different from the family of  President Kennedy.  He has been a destroyer sailor, a scrubber of printing presses, a college teacher, and for the past 35 years nothing but a writer.  Kennedy has written more than twenty children’s books, the latest being City Kids, eight books of poetry, and several schoolbooks, among them An Introduction to Poetry, now in its 13th edition and co-authored with poet Dana Gioia.  He has received the prize for Finest Fantasy given by the children of the Ethical School in New York City (for his novel The Owlstone Crown); the award for children’s poetry from the National Council of Teachers of English; the light verse award from the American Academy & Institute of Arts & Letters; the Poets’ Prize, given by some poets to one of their kind; and the Robert Frost gold medal for his life’s work, from the Poetry Society of America.  With his wife, Dorothy M. Kennedy, he compiled Knock at a Star: A Child’s Introduction to Poetry and Talking Like the Rain: A Read-to-Me Book of Poetry, which have stayed in print ever since 1982 and 1992.  He and Dorothy have six grandkids so far, and live in Lexington, Massachusetts, where the American Revolution began.  For more about them, kindly see the website

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