- The Old Manby Sandra Ludwick
This work has reached the exceptional level
This is a Halloween poem for children of all ages.
The Old Man by Sandra Ludwick
Children's Halloween Poetry contest entry
Artwork by supergold at

There once was an old man my friend
Who lived to one hundred and ten.
He woke up one night
To a terrible fright
And never was heard of again.

Then one day a young boy named Todd
Was out for a walk with his dog.
He fell in a hole
Where they had buried old Joel
And the story was told from then.

Joel's bones were so brittle they'd break
When worms worked their way like a snake.
His eyes how they rolled
Looking ever so bold
And the dirt made him look like a fake.

His brain was all slimy and thin.
It squished as they pulled it from him.
His teeth how they rattled
As if they were battled
But nowhere was there any skin.

Joel's organs were eaten by then
By critters of deep and within.
But his story lives on
In words and in song
To be told over again and again.


Author Notes
Have some fun and turn this poem into a Halloween activity:

In a dark room, have participants sit in a circle and close their eyes. As you read the poem (slowly), pass around a bowl with specific items in it (one item at a time):

Use twigs for bones
Gummy worms can be used
Use 2 large olives for eye balls
Use crumbled pecan sandies (cookies) for dirt
Use cooked spaghetti in warm water for brains
Use candy corn for the teeth
Use cut pieces of baggies for skin



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