The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Conor McNamara

Blue Halloween


Serving as my girl’s nephews’ last-resort-backup-babysitter, I end up at Bayou Grande Villa—a trailer park marked by trash cans, Fisher-Price toys and spray paint address numbers. It’s a cold evening, November, and her nephews are hilarious.  Each of them grabs me by the hand and I’m led to a hole in the floorboards where they hide loose change, army men and Legos they stole from a neighbor kid.  They say, simultaneously, “Erik’s a jerk, we deserved them Legos.”  For most of the night, I listen to stories about school, jokes and field trips to the Naval Aviation Museum. I listen to stories about the future.  We order a pizza that never comes. We build a fort.  They cry, I listen.  I hope, somehow, I play a part in their survival.  Lining a shelf in their bedroom—a row of blue, plastic Jack-o'-lanterns.



CONOR McNAMARA was born and raised in Seattle. He earned a BA in English from the University of Montana in 2011, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Otis College of Art and Design in 2014. He lives in Pensacola, FL. His fiction and poetry have appeared in agape, Gambling the Aisle, Riprap Journal, and Valley Voices.  



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