Sadie Shuck Hinkel

Halloween 2003 Self-Portrait

Nearby, my sister carves a smile 
into a pumpkin & it begins to rot
the moment she cuts into it. 
My dress is Morticia Addams dark,
my face Wicked Witch of the West green. 
I look so much like A Woman 
in a Story that I decide to preserve this emerald
version of myself, so I tuck my body into the fruit
& close the lid over the point of my hat. 
I expect the smell of decay,
but instead the curved gut smells
like my sister’s hands. 
I peek out of the gap-toothed grin,
then pull my head back in & hide
between the bittersweet string. She finds me—
gently dips her fingers in & runs a plastic-toothed
edge against the yellowed insides, scoops me out
with the seeds.

Sadie Shuck Hinkel is a poet and essayist from the Midwest. She received her MA from Coastal Carolina University, and she is an editor for Electric Moon Magazine. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in The Manhattanville ReviewBarren MagazineBoston Accent Lit, and others.