For Halloween I like to hand out

For Halloween I like to hand out
treats the kids are not expecting
like tiny squares of reuben sandwiches—
the kids shove it in then spit it on my porch
going gaa! What is that flavor?
Is the rye a little strong? I ask.
You wait. Give it thirty years, thousands of pots
of bad coffee and cartons of cigarettes
and then try it and you’ll go
Wow! That’s wonderful, and hock a lugee to the side.
But if you don’t like the reuben I’ve got
some kidneys in sherry, very nice,
squid in its own ink, haggis, back bacon,
and a big hunk of fried honeycomb tripe.
Jeezus, they say, don’t you have any candy?
I show them I’ve got Good and Plenty’s and they say
Just forget it; we’ll try the tripe.

It gets a little worse every year.
I look forward to the day when my treats taste so horrible
the kids provide their own razor blades.

—Don Whittington

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