Carved monstrous faces, magic light
bends the trees with molten sneers,
street bobs with orange globes,
channel markers to guide the dread.

Wind carries small goblins and cats over
houses wreathed with whispering leaves
that tremble by warm blind windows,
deaf to last gurgling chokes for help.

The night is measured by small eyes
sometimes fierce as dragons, now small
and frightened by someone too large,
perhaps wearing a death’s head mask.

Streets squalls of pirates, princesses,
vampires and witches, sudden silences of
tossed, crumbling leaves kicking on a slick
black vinyl street, rain wet, lightning lit.

Sitting behind the wheel of your car,
peering out, is that house OK? Is anyone home?
I’d feel safer if they had a jack o’ lantern
on that gothic verandah. Come on in.

© Ward Maxwell, 2014

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