Halloween Vespers with Homemade Vader

Adam Tavel
| poetry


Bless the amber porch light that coronets

his flimsy helmet’s sheen and the ringlets

this dusk breeze bounces on elastic

straps thin as earthworms baked black

atop the stoop. Bless the dragging cape

I forgot to hem that brooms its scrape

of maple leaves trailing down beyond

the sidewalk to a dozen murky ponds

pocking our gravel drive with day-old rain.

Bless this Sith Lord’s right glove stained

with juice—it transubstantiates to blood

from rebel galaxies that fought the flood

of clones who stomped peasant martyrs free

of blasters, cause, and zealotry.

Bless the cardboard saber crayoned red

that hums its slash through Wookiee dread,

each Tusken Raider’s door we dash

to swell our bucket’s mounting stash

before we tramp across another lawn.

Bless the mask that slides for coughs and yawns.

Bless the snacking boy who curses Jedi scum,

this son who cleaves my hand and calls me son.




Adam Tavel received the 2010 Robert Frost Award and his chapbook Red Flag Up was recently published by Kattywompus Press. He is also the author of The Fawn Abyss (Salmon, forthcoming), and his recent poems appear in The Massachusetts Review, Quarterly West, Passages North, Southern Indiana Review, and Crab Orchard Review, among others. He is an associate professor of English at Wor-Wic Community College on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

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