Haunted Nº 2

By Matt Steel
31 October 2020

Walking near midnight
halogen blaze pools
pulls my gaze  a face
looms from oak shadow
porcelain oval
owlish eyes
siphon mouth
cloaked hooded heavy
shoulder slopes
to black –

in the unnatural way
of every unmoving being
threatening until
the spell breaks
the watch ends
the head turns (I’m dreaming)
regards me shimmers metallic
like no living face
from this world (wake up wake up)
so naturally
I yelp with terror –

On closer inspection and after a pinch
it is no face at all
not sentient but a sanitary
bag dispenser for dog walkers
and I wonder:
do others see
a spotlit face in the dark?
Do they wrap Daisy’s or Milo’s turd
in a chemically scented bag and think
is some haunted shit
right there?”