Halloween Poem

The Magic Wand 

A poem by Marty Gervais

The wizard is poised in the room

like a Halloween witch

with that wide-brimmed peaked hat

prattling on like a philosopher

inviting us to feel that invisible ball of energy

vibrating between our outstretched hands


She’s here for the launch of the new Harry Potter book

but my five-year-old grandson is lost

in the magic wand she has placed in his hands

as she speaks about drawing protectives circles

casting spells, warding off dark forces,

even banishing bunions


My grandson marvels at this instrument

whispering feverishly “Abracadabra…abracadabra…”

—no longer hearing this wizard

who has fashioned this shaman’s wand

from an aging oak tree


Instead, he’s channelling his own energy into the room

but it isn’t working, nothing is flying about,

no sudden gusts of wind, nor pantry doors

slamming shut, nor tea cups rattling in mid air


and nothing bigger than he might imagine:

still poverty, still a need for world peace,

still violence and pestilence and polluted lakes


My grandson is poised and ready

And frantically waves the wand about him

like a symphony conductor gone mad


yet nothing changes —it won’t even silence

this nattering witch from telling us

about Greco Roman wands

or ceremonial fire wands and lotus wands

or those used by the freemasons in

all their ritualistic nonsense


Then suddenly in a dramatic abracadabra ending

my grandson shatters the spell:

“Hey, lady, how does this thing work?”



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