Shadow

Shadow

I saw my own shadow today
We sat under a tree
She didn’t have that much to say
Yet still she sat by me

I talked to her of how I’ve sinned
And fear my heart’s turned black
I couldn’t tell if she listened
For she said nothing back

But I kept talking anyway
Although I must confess
The more my shadow didn’t say
The more I was a mess

I cried, I pleaded, begged her to
Give me just one word back
I cried out “What is wrong with you?”
My hand swung with a smack

And then my shadow laughed at me
My hand passed right on through
Beyond my tears I then could see
She had more than I knew

She had such calm, truth, love, and peace
No nightmares plagued her sleep
But me, my tears, they never cease
For me, the pain runs deep

How can my shadow be so free?
With laughter, love, and life?
If she but lives as part of me
And all I know is strife?

All of these questions plagued my heart
I couldn’t help but ask
“Could it just be, you play a part?
Your laughter’s just a mask?”

“Do you still hide from your worst fears
Your worries and your doubt?
Does your laughter hide endless tears?
Your smile hide a pout?”

And then my shadow shook her head
She laughed at what I asked
She looked me in the eye and said
“You are the one who’s masked”

And then I realized it was true
The mask was on my face
My shadow saw it, and she knew
She’d put me in my place

My shadow was the mask I wore
Her darkness cloaked my soul
And it would still be long before
I ever became whole

To my shadow, I bowed my head
As a smile crossed her face
She knew my tears had to be shed
I felt her cool embrace

She held me closely while I cried
And whispered a sweet prayer
For all my loved ones who had died
And one who was still there

And then I slowly closed my eyes
And cried myself to sleep
My shadow held me like a prize
That she would always keep

But when I woke, the night had come
My shadow was no more
My body shivered, I was numb
Rain had begun to pour

And in that rain I stood alone
I let it wash me clean
Of all the sorrow that I’d known
And horrors that I’d seen

Now my shadow is still inside
I wear the mask no more
I will not run away or hide
From what has come before

And next time my shadow is near
I’ll lend to her my praise
Her judgment I’ll no longer fear
I won’t avoid her gaze

My shadow is a part of me
One piece out of the whole
Just as darkness will always be
In my eternal soul

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