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Streetlights

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Flashing shoes, elbow bruise,
Thigh-length shorts, meant for sports,
Baseball cap, shirt from GAP,
Walking stick, running quick.

Concrete pavement – mind the cracks.
Moonless night means much is black.
Trees and streetlights here and there.
This here sidewalk needs repairs.

Dad keeps up, but not by much.
Strolling, sauntering, slow and such.
Flashlight in hand, trailing me.
Shining light on my own Grand Prix.

Streetlights add their own illumination,
Birthing shadows, a conglomeration.
Each one similar yet not quite the same,
Shifting, morphing, impossible to tame.

I watch them dance, mimicking my movements,
Ever-changing ever-flowing, all across the pavement.
As I move, they thus alter;
Lengthen, shorten, strengthen, falter.

All these perspectives, all these perceptions,
Why must they always, always change their complexion?
I take one action and a few grow stronger,
While the others, the others shrink shorter...

Yet there is one shadow, different from the rest.
Given life by the flashlight, held at my father’s chest.
While this one wavers, it never leaves nor fades.
Regardless of what I do, this shadow shall remain.

But all these silhouettes, all these shadows,
They are but outlines, all of them shallow.
Naught but framework, deprived of colour.

None are truly me.




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