' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Only The Shadow Knows(For Scarlett) Poem by Dónall Dempsey

' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Only The Shadow Knows(For Scarlett)

Rating: 2.7

He wouldn’t come out
of the closet

though she shouted
& shouted

his name
like a trapped bird

flying from room
to room

hiding from Auntie
was too much


to let her discover
how he could disappear

at will

be there in this
too too

solid flesh
one second

& then cease
to exist

he laughing himself
to bits

then scared shitless

as her ogress footsteps
approached his hiding place

like a fairy story
turning Grimm

her voice
flinging open

the wardrobe where
he hid

up inside her
hung skirt

(the Sunday one with brown
buttons on & pink pleats)

he standing in her

(the sexy Sunday high heels)

invisible because he had
become her


She stares
& stares

unsure of being

her breath
hissing through her nose

he almost
pissing himself

it seems she is just about to

she turns
& goes

trots downstairs

leaving him alone
in the darkness

her whalebone corset
like an alien

digging him
in the soft back of the knee

its vulcanised smell
getting up his nose

giving him
the creeps

no way now is he
going to come out

of the closet

she can shout
& shout

“Can anyone tell me
where that Dónall goes? ”

she wails
Llke a Lady
from Shalot.

He giggles
to himself

camouflaged amongst
here among her

tights & stockings
frocks & dresses

hiding up her clothes
invisible to the last

steadfast as a shadow
amongst shadows

A mystery
even to him self.

Ruth Walters 19 January 2010

There's nothing quite like hiding in mother's wardrobe and I only ever came out for tea and cake....... Ruthie

0 0 Reply
Scarlett Treat 15 January 2010

Does one have to be as old as I and remember 'The Shadow' radio program in order to love this poem? Hardly! ! The wonderful glee of a hidden child and the fear of discovery....in universal! And so very wonderfully recalled here and shared with us as readers. HOW DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO SO WELL? You do something to me... Something that simply Mystifies me....what a great song...what a great writer! !

0 0 Reply
Dónall Dempsey

Dónall Dempsey

Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.
Error Success