(for Ian Auhl)

After years of glass and urban lights
few things are darker than a country night.
But here I need no lamp-lit circles thrown
like patches on the pavement. Here my feet
have memories of their own
and in this town of strangers they, at least,
are half-way home.
They recognise the fractured flagging-stones
that crease the street.

And who needs light stains on verandah floors
with colours matching patterns in glass doors
that interrupt the dark through half-drawn blinds.
Although they throw their leaf fringed rings around
familiar ground, it seems that time
has changed the names in this stone husk my town
has left behind.
No need of lights and little need to find
the houses now.

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