The phantasms rise in tandem as they seep out of their boxes
to caress the bats and tantalize the foxes
by swooping through their caves and pulling at their tails.
Of all the foxes’ problems, they cause the most travails.
On Halloween they haunt the world, including you and me,
but in the interim, they aren’t allowed to wander free.
They’re restricted to the meadows, the byways and those places
where they are not likely to encounter human faces.
Phantasms are not cordial. They harry and they tease.
They seep into the smallest crack and travel on the breeze.
They stir up other spirits and agitate the fleas,
causing havoc everywhere and doing what they please.
So though they might harass your world every Halloween,
and though they might be spine-tingling and horrible and mean,
it is the one night of the year they leave the foxes be,
so the foxes are beholding to the likes of you and me.
If you should dare to wander through the forest and the trees
on this All-Saints evening, get down on your knees
and peer into the burrow of the soundly sleeping foxes
curled up in a ball with their noses near their soxes.
See them sleeping soundly, undisturbed within their dreams—
twitching in contentment under the moon’s full beams?
Your one night of terror is the fox’s only break.
Be grateful for your haunting, if just for the foxes’ sake!
Word prompts today are interim, cordial, phantasm, tandem, outside the box and dusk. Ghosts may take it easier on foxes on Prince Edward Island, as is evidenced by this fox that I observed spending a good half hour or so basking in the sun of the yard of my friends Dianne and Andy. Or perhaps it was the sunlight that drove the phantasms away. Or our presence.