David Lewis Paget
The Shadow Eater - Poem by David Lewis Paget
Their shadows should have stepped side by side
As once they had done before,
But nobody noticed that one had gone
From the boardwalk trace on the floor,
They still paraded, down by the beach
At the height of the afternoon,
And friends would swear he was still in reach
Though she wore an air of gloom.
Nobody actually spoke to them
So it must have been hard to tell,
Which of the couple was really there
And which fallen under a spell,
The law of shadows is crystal clear
If you’re there, a shadow is cast,
The sun shines through if it isn’t you
For that’s its primary task.
It happens I knew the guy quite well
And he had shadow to spare,
While she was much more ephemeral,
Was somebody not quite there.
I wondered what had attracted him
For she gave out a spray of gloom,
There wasn’t that gay affinity
That could gladly light up a room.
I watched as his life force faded away,
His shadow to disappear,
I told him he needed to leave that day
Or the end of his world was near.
But she reached out, and shooed me away,
Seized hold of his wavering hand,
Her eyes burned bright with an evil light,
While his were blank and bland.
I know that we never conversed again
I’d see him afar by day,
She clung on tight to his fading light
As she marched him around the bay,
He hadn’t a shadow left to throw
When at last he died on the beach,
Condemned by her to a living hell
As his life slipped out of reach.
He was laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cross
While I waited for her to pass,
To see if the shadow she stole from him
Would still cleave to her, at last.
But sunbeams shone through her mourning veil
There was only mine could save,
While I made sure as I stepped one back
That she’d die by my brother’s grave.
21 September 2015
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