Shadows Again

Getting serious again in the penultimate day of NaPoWriMo. For some reason, I’ve written about shadows again.

[screencap from this video, via]

Shadow Baby
by Kalyiel

Lately I’ve been able to hear shadows
Moving stealthily with these, our bodies,
The sound of their airy shackles as they
Trudge between flesh and soul, moaning
Miserably on the floors, walls, pavements,
Trailing off blindly, ape-like, neither
Here nor there, neither alive nor dead.
At first, I thought I was just imagining
Everything, but then I felt I could hear
These sounds closer and closer. So I looked
Behind me and there it was, my own shadow
Crying like an infant, flickering with
Rustling noises. I bent down and picked
It up, nursed it with loving-care, fed it
Milk and apples and bread and butter and jam.
Now it’s getting clearer, much clearer,
I think it has put on some weight.
I can almost discern its face and I think
It looks nothing like me. It probably
Takes after the world.

Good, that’s that, now for some random trivia. After writing the poem, I googled “shadow baby” out of curiosity, and I found out that there’s actually a whole novel by Margaret Forster called just that, “Shadow Baby”. Evie and Shona, born almost 70 years apart, are women of very different personalities. But as their stories unfold, it becomes apparent that they share much more than their yearning to find the mothers they never knew. – the Amazon UK description says. Also, there is a series of seven books called Shadow Children, a dystopia in which any third child born to family has to be killed. Well, isn’t that something?

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