The Bag Men


Run, you little children, go!
Through Halloween’s darksome kingdom
of gnarled trees and gables and each corn row—
but beware, for the Bag Men come.

Laugh and dance and trick or treat
in the maze cut by Farmer Brown,
but the Bag Men also seek sweets to eat,
stumbling along the lanes of your town.


Lumpy, they come, alone or together,
as they sway and totter above the corn,
their mouths wide with the windy weather
to eat you before All Saints morn.

A sickle moon hangs at the ready
for the coming harvest held tonight,
all children too happy and heady
will see the shamblers in the moonlight.

Think yourself safe upon the road?
Or in the neighborhood with its human laws?
They will swallow you whole, like a toad,
stuffing you in their black-hole maws.


Black as night, and blacker still
their gaping gullets that gurgle— Lo!
They can never truly have their fill;
gluttonous gourmands, they grow and grow.

Like bags of candy much overfed,
they wobble and thrash among the crop;
no arms, no necks, not even a head—
only mouths and legs, which never stop.

And in these mouths the many howls
of unwary children all consumed,
forever trapped in their saggy jowls
never escaping, always entombed.


Do you really think you can hide?
No, they will swallow you, too,
and then you will see, from the inside
the victims who will soon join you.

You naive little trick or treaters,
think on what your sweet tooth has wrought,
for they come, those misshapen eaters—
it is too late, you have been caught.