Snow bites the air, but not yet the ground,
and all day the geese have delta’d overhead
shouting each other directions,
navigating by stars I don’t recognise.
There is no footpath, and I walk
between the road and the ha-ha
on bald autumn grass.
Here, the cars keep right.
The houses have basement windows
peering at me from ground level
like gopher’s eyes.
Halloween lights like icicles
outline entrance doors,
their owners impatient for winter.
Organic and plastic Jack-o’-Lanterns
occupy front lawns
in pre-loved clothes and wicker rockers.
There are ghosts in the windows
backed by the flickering blue lights
of Saturday night entertainment.
Only the last gravel driveway
in a progressive neighbourhood
helps me find my way back
to familiar territory.
This is Ross St in November
and the house of my hosts
echoes the unfamiliar stars, the bald grass,
goggle-eyed gophers, square-eyed ghosts.