Shadows

Shadows

There have been shadows in my life
           big shadows
in the narrow corners
           of my days
in the perplexed horizons
           of my shuffled nights

There have been black shadows
           that danced without word
around the cradle of my childhood
           shadows without grandfather
without grandmother
           But not for that any less ghostly
any less full
           of horror

There have been shadows in the pulses
           of my feet that have often stumbled
in the light night of midday.
           There have been shadows of flesh and blood
and pestilential kisses
           I wouldn’t want to deny it.

Who has never felt
           the dead weight of shadows
at the rooster’s dismantled hour ?
           Who has never half awoken
to a slick silky
           insatiable hunger
and a sadness
           beyond measure ?

There have been shadows
           on my shoes
on my shirts
           across my illiterate walls
riddled with vain tasks
           that have been left undone
The stuttering shadows
           of  speechless distances
and the inconsolable
           sloth of death
There have been shadows
           my friends

John Lyons

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