A Man with a Shadow This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

December 6, 2010
Big, tall man, not ready to be tamed.
Love connects, life slowly changes.
No more partying, no horsing around,
A new set pace.

Months go by until the prize awaits.
Cold rooms, bright lights, beeps, and madness soon disappear.
Now, to go home, is life at its purest.
An adjustment to life one's not often used to.
Quickly, instinct kicks in,
A “father's” job begins.

As the man ages, so does his shadow, following wherever he roams.
Like a tall, thick tree, he towers,
A willow of wisdom, casting a small silhouette.
It watches attentively,
Often trying to copy his every move, fails.
Gentle, leathered hands reach down to nurture the growing mind.

Both share the same passions.
They laugh, frolic until interrupted by work.
Days go by slowly for the shadow.
Night brings new meaning.
The shadow races home through hay fields to await the man's return.
Midnight stories become sparse – until gone.
Man becomes old, brittle with age,
The shadow still growing in height and wisdom until the same size as him.
On sunny days, the shadow is missing,
Off following another being,
Growing wiser, aging with time – a willow of its own creation.
Soon, a deadly storm arises, bringing the shadow back.

The old man is dying, weathered by age.
He saves his last glimpse to see his once small shadow.
Tears fall like rain; the shadow now stands alone,
Awaiting to have his own.

Life changes,
People grow up,
The mind ages and progresses with time.
Some come, some go,
But family lasts forever.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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