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Leah at Octoberfest
Nancy Scott

Elmo and Sponge Bob were there
and a fairy princess in pink and white net,
Spiderman and clowns,
and pumpkins too,
and scarecrows in chewed-up felt hats.
But Leah, with a hot dog in her left hand,
a jug of blue juice in her right, couldn’t take
her eyes off the monster
she didn’t have a name for yet: Grim Reaper
hooked nose, red eyes, black cloak,
bloody cardboard scythe and two paces
behind him a pint-sized double.
From the pony ride, the plastic bubble
trampoline, the haystacks she kept lookout
for the monster. Then he was in front of her
coming closer. She dug into her pocket
for the handful of stones she’d collected,
was about to fling them in his direction,
when he suddenly squatted
and tied the shoelaces
of his side-kick sitting on a bench.
Look, she shouted, he’s a Daddy,
and dismissed him as only a child can.

From One Stands Guard, One Sleeps (Plain View Press, 2009).
This poem first appeared in Slant in 2008.
Used here with the author’s permission.

 Nancy Scott is the author of five books of poetry and managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets’ Cooperative in New Jersey. Her most recent book, On Location (March Street Press, 2011), is a collection of poems inspired by works of art from all over the world. She is also an artist and drops off and collects her collages from various exhibits in much the same way that she chauffeured her four children when they were younger. Learn more about Nancy at 


Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
I'm catching up after a busy week and weekend - and loved the surprise ending of this poem!
Posted 10/29/2012 10:03 AM
I loved it!!
Posted 10/28/2012 04:11 AM
Delightful! That simple act defines Daddy-hood!
Posted 10/27/2012 11:00 AM
Ah! Being a daddy trumps all. Delightful. Thanks, Nancy.
Posted 10/27/2012 10:50 AM
I love it! Even Death has responsibilities, I suppose. Wonderful poem.
Posted 10/27/2012 10:28 AM
This is a great and cute poem! I loved the ending also!
Posted 10/27/2012 10:26 AM
Kathe L. Palka:
Fun poem Nancy and what a perfectly captured ending!
Posted 10/27/2012 09:24 AM
I love this poem with its 'chewed-up felt hats' and nameless Grim Reaper. That blue juice must contain something I could use.
Posted 10/27/2012 06:18 AM

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