There is a small town in an out of the way place named Brownsville,
Exhibiting beautiful seasonal trees and a stream with crystal clear water flowing into a mill.
The elders of the town are hanging up strange symbolled objects as decorations,
And bringing items to the center of town for the nights preparations.
There’s a big kettle of brew in the town square,
The children were told not to go there.
The spirits come to town every fifty years,
And the elders must prepare to meet them despite the children’s fears.
Folklore has it the men howl and grow long teeth,
And the women grow long nails that come out of a sheath.
As night fell the town grew uncomfortably quiet and still,
The silence so terrifying it was almost a shrill.
Mothers with children went to their houses to stay,
And wait out the long night for the following day.
A big bonfire raged radiantly against the night sky,
An event so warm and inviting it seemed to belie.
The elders danced around the fire shaking some kind of stick and wearing masks,
Drinking their homemade brew from special flasks.
At midnight the fog looked eerie as across the town it did roll,
As the spirits had arrived to collect more than one unlucky soul.
Coming from the fog were sounds of wailing and crying,
From those in the realm of the undying.
In the morning when it was over and the mothers had nothing to fear any more,
They went outside and were shocked to find a present for their children at their front door.
You see, only the elders know the spirit festival is for the living,
And the true meaning of the festival is the “spirit of giving”.
Those who are children in the town today,
In fifty years will be elders and their part in the festival they will play.
Copyright © Mark Weismantel | Year Posted 2019
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