'The Walking Dead' for a Thousand, Alex

It's the annual night
for fledgling ghouls and goblins--
All Hallows' Eve
whatever that means.
Timid young parents
walk gentrified streets
with their miniature witches and warlocks
heroes and objectified female royalty
reflecting in shop windows
while the sun sits safely down
and mocks their quest for candy.

Little do they know
that true evil lurks
two miles west
in a city whose demons aren't painted.
That sidewalk hosts candles
unsheltered by pumpkins.
Two budding lives lost
in a shooting
two nights ago
but it's not too late
to reflect on the themes:

We're only as good as the way
we treat strangers
and only as blessed
as the fates of our kids.

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