Poetry Sunday: All Souls by Michael Collier

Will you be going to a Halloween party this week? Do you love the opportunity to dress up and become someone else for a night? 

Michael Collier wrote about such a party and the souls who love disguising themselves, those who can honestly say, "We love what we are; we love what we’ve become."

All Souls

by Michael Collier

A few of us—Hillary Clinton, Vlad Dracula,   
Oprah Winfrey, and Trotsky—peer through   
the kitchen window at a raccoon perched   
outside on a picnic table where it picks 

over chips, veggies, olives, and a chunk of pâte.   
Behind us others crowd the hallway, many more 
dance in the living room. Trotsky fusses with the bloody   
screwdriver puttied to her forehead. 

Hillary Clinton, whose voice is the rumble 
of a bowling ball, whose hands are hairy 
to the third knuckle, lifts his rubber chin to announce,   
“What a perfect mask it has!” While the Count 

whistling through his plastic fangs says, “Oh,   
and a nose like a chef.” Then one by one   
the other masks join in: “Tail of a gambler,”   
“a swashbuckler’s hips,” “feet of a cat burglar.” 

Trotsky scratches herself beneath her skirt 
and Hillary, whose lederhosen are so tight they form a codpiece,   
wraps his legs around Trotsky’s leg and humps like a dog.   
Dracula and Oprah, the married hosts, hold hands 

and then let go. Meanwhile the raccoon squats on   
the gherkins, extracts pimentos from olives, and sniffs   
abandoned cups of beer. A ghoul in the living room   
turns the music up and the house becomes a drum. 

The windows buzz. “Who do you love? Who do you love?”   
the singer sings. Our feathered arms, our stockinged legs.   
The intricate paws, the filleting tongue. 
We love what we are; we love what we’ve become. 


  1. What a fun Halloween party! 😊

  2. Good choice Dorothy! I haven't truly enjoyed dressing up since I was much younger, but last night I was on Sunset Blvd (attending a talk by Margaret Atwood!!) and saw many young Anglenos dressed up for Halloween parties.

    1. Oh, wow! You attended a talk by Margaret Atwood? I am full of envy.


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