“The shade” poem by AERONWY THOMAS, UK. Sculpture by VERONIKA PRIEHODOVA, Slovakia


(copyright of the artist)


A chubby man
followed me
to the library
along the streets
of Boston
past Dunkin’ Donuts
and Peets coffee and teas
into the pharmacy
for Vick’s Vaporub
to Harvard Campus
and leafy trees.

His shadow
followed me
up the steps
through the doors
of the public halls.

The throng already there
greeted the shadow
and not me
with loud applause
in the dusty halls
until he faded from the sight
to his proper shape
a shade
and I stepped forward
flesh and blood
to shout to the wind,
the stars and the rain
to be acclaimed
by the crowd
in my own write
on my own terms
for a while free
of the shame
not be him again
of the shadow
that keeps pace with me
that dogs my steps
throughout my life.


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