Curtains drawn against late October twilight,
working on verses about burgeoning flocks
of raucous, emerald Ring-necked Parakeets
in the Surrey Hills, I hear the murmur
of girls. It is Halloween. The bell rings.
There is a bevy of neighbours’ daughters –
one with a painted face, all on the cusp
of womanhood – lovely, ingenuous.
From habit, I watch them safely down the street
and then, before I shut the door, look up
at the night sky,