for Natalie Katarina Larson

Pumpkins with rickrack
smiles and yellow burning
eyes line the walk. A flapping
ghost with broom feet hangs
by the front door to greet
the costumed children clutching
plastic pumpkins, black-cat grocery bags
advancing toward the unknown
of this stranger’s house.

I whisper to
the beautiful Belle
dressed in rhinestone tiara
and silvered gown,

O.K, Natalie, go ahead, knock.
She whispers back,

In a minute, Nana, I’m getting
my witch words ready.