William Trowbridge

You and Your Shadow

Shadow loves the little children, the way they
      lie propped on their silky pillows,
      quiet as Daguerreotypes.

Shadow loves the grown-ups, too—how,
      when he drops them in the dark water, they relax,
      al dente.

Call him workaholic, though sometimes he’ll
      pop open a can of sorrow to kick back and pull out
      a program from his morgue of old TV shows.

Shadow’s favorite TV star is Mr. Jimmy “The Schnoz”
      Durante, whose nose casts a big banana
      shadow when he flashes his profile and says, “Hot-cha-cha!”

Durante knocks em dead with his string-backed
      finale, “Me and My Shadow.” The Schnoz and, rising
      behind him, The Schnoz-No-More.

Then there’s Gomer Pyle, USMC. Shadow weeps
      sometimes, knowing the dead Marines can
      always use a few good shadows. Semper Mortuus.

Shadow was born blind, which is why you
      have to catch your breath, when he holds tight.
      To find you, he depends on Umbra, his seeing-eye.

Even so, Shadow loves a good joke, like why
      the Shadow crossed the road. (To keep tabs
      on all his little fryers. Hot-cha-cha!)