Tina Mozelle Braziel
Hydrangea Ridge, AL
I’m hiking at dusk. At a crossroads, I see a male figure that seems vaguely familiar. He gives a hesitant wave, but I can’t place him. Once he walks away, I realize that he was my shadow. I remember that he hadn’t always liked where I went and that he had been growing wooly feet. Wooly and gray-blue like the creatures in Where The Wild Things Are. At the time, I felt that I should rub them because he followed me around so much, but I never did. I look down the trail after him, thinking it is too late, he had gone away. But at least, he found his own way.
The following poem emerged from this dream:
My shadow walked away
before I recognized him.
Had he left me because I turned
away from his crooking finger
beckoning me up to the rooftop?
Maybe I should have rubbed his feet.
Staring after him, I can’t remember
the last time I heard him sigh.
He disappeared out of the hotel,
taking my shape where I wouldn’t.
Now waving away the barroom smoke
from the list of local brews, I imagine
my shadow stirring in his airplane seat,
yawning as he reaches for the reading light.
Without him, my face appears ageless,
light as a bed sheet some men say.