Ingredients for Halloween in Nigeria

By: Joel Dettweiler
First Place Winner of the 2nd Annual Halloween Contest

Jack O’Lantern:
            A field of dry grass, burning
            Bare feet and a light in the eyes
            Hungry, blazing, and sacred
            Imported clothes; a new shirt
            Light brown hair, buzz-cut monthly
            Oyinbo skin peeling in the sun
            Long headache hours in hot cars
            Whiny nights, threatening malaria,
            Snakes and giant cockroaches
            The sweet taste of the first rain,
            Impromptu pools formed in road ruts
            Mosquito nets providing protection
Ghost stories:
            Stacks and shelves of dusty books,
            Faraway lands with strange customs –
            “Walmart”, “snow”, and “Halloween”

Joel Dettweiler grew up as a missionary kid in Nigeria before attending
the College of Charleston for Computer Science. Upon learning that all
the unusual experiences in the world won’t help one find a date if one
cannot express them properly, he took up poetry as a study and hobby. He
has self-published one book of poems and is currently procrastinating
all of his homework by working on his second.