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  • Writer's pictureKayleigh Willis

'My Friend the Shadow' by David Anthony Sam

My friend, the shadow,

messes with the day’s clarity.

His darkness lies like a wound

or a questioning of daylight.

He tried wine and marijuana,

growing his own grapes and buds.

The doctor wrote a script

that he follows as he dances nude

in moonlight to the music

of the invisible tree frogs.

His life cannot race too fast

since he had that attack of heart

the same number of years ago

as the memory of falling towers.

He glides like a Tai Chi master

through the slow wind

his bare arms make

from the flowing of leaves

at sunset.

My priestly duty requires I abstain

from his nude dancing. Besides,

it is too cold in the night

to bare myself to the darkness.

He writhes a pale shadow of moon

which is itself a pale shadow

of every hidden phase of sun.

My friend, the wandering shadow,

eyes me with smiling sight,

kisses the frostful air,

and moves between star and moonlight.

He has left me talking to myself

but blessed with the thinning of blood.

Copyright. David Anthony Sam.

David Anthony Sam lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. His poetry has appeared in over 100 journals and his poem, “First and Last,” won the 2018 Rebecca Lard Award. His collection, Writing the Significant Soil, was awarded the 2021 Poetry Prize at Homebound Publications whose imprint, Wayfarer Books, will publish Summer 2022. Six other collections are in print including Final Inventory (Prolific Press 2018) and Dark Fathers (Kelsay Books 2019). He teaches creative writing at Germanna Community College and serves as the Regional VP on the Board of the Virginia Poetry Society.

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