Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Sharon Fagan McDermott: Halloween, Pittsburgh

such tender ghosts with their small hands reaching

into bowls and baskets, so much that’s wrapped in shine

even in the rain, even after disaster, even as the adults

bury the dead one by one. the tender ghosts are under

the radar, are small and walk with aw-shucks glide,

shy at the strangers’ doors, shy before the flickering mouths

of jack-o-lanterns, shy beneath the torched maples

making an inferno of despair, letting the smoke-

gray of the skies carry it off for another day, so that

the beautiful legs of the very young continue to carry them

around corners where they still anticipate

one more wonderful thing


October 31, 2018


Copyright 2018 Sharon Fagan McDermott


Etz Hayim, (עץ חיים, meaning “Tree of Life”) can be found in Genesis 2:9, referring to the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. The term is also found in several verses of Proverbs, often translated as “the fruit of a righteous man,” “a desire fulfilled,” and “a healing tongue”. [Wikipedia]

2 comments on “Sharon Fagan McDermott: Halloween, Pittsburgh

  1. singsharon
    November 3, 2018

    I love the artwork attached here. It’s so beautiful and the translations “the fruit of a righteous man,” “a desire fulfilled,” and “a healing tongue” (especially this last one, as I am a writer–) deeply touches me. The Jewish faith is such a wonderfully deep and connected faith. Thank you, Vox Populi!

    Liked by 1 person

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