The rain had quenched the roaring campfire,
destroying all hopes of roasting marshmallows.
But the sounds that would follow were simply
October. Storm clouds arrived. Then the wind blew.
Rain fell in horizontal sheets. Hail came last,
destroying the objects grouped by the door:
Bruising carved pumpkins, un-potting the yellow
chrysanthemums, scattering freshly-baled hay,
skinny, funny scarecrows, dried black corn. And while
the pounding storm shook the house on the hill,
several small children huddled together, giddy with fear.
Wearing feet pajamas and holding fuzzy bears, they
swapped tales of the Hornet Spook Light-(It swings,
by way of legend, in the hand of a headless man,
far, far away)-or stories of the man down Third Street
behind Safeway: The one that scared me in first grade.
The man whose "dog" is really a wolf. The kids chattered
about Ol' Henry, who's nothing but a 'bo pushing a cart,
and had more fun fearing him than bobbing-
when the rain let up-for crunchy red apples,
floating in the galvanized wash-tub on the Pullium's back porch.