When he moved into the new house in Yellowmeadows, the new freeway was under construction nearby and his garden lay on the edge of the abandoned farmland. In summer evenings, he would wander the old green track between the overarching hedges, past gates left hung open.
Once, he found an abandoned farmstead, its buildings fringed in dry grass, their doorways with rot-shortened jambs. Peering inside, stalls marked with tide-marks of dung, their asbestos roofs with holes eating the sky.
In one, arrayed across the floor, the skeleton of a cow covered by a sack of hide. No flesh, no odour but the dust smell of the left-behind.
Nearby, hung from a fence, its skinned head, big as a child. Gripping the honeycombed horn butts, he lifted it off its pier and held it to the sky. Nasal plates flittered fragments into the long grass.
Cow skull, greying,
shot through the forehead
with summer light