Shadow painting


Are you doing the same to me
As you have done to her,
Holding my heart tenuously
So, when you would prefer
You turn and seek your solace there?
I cannot bear
To think that this could be and yet
To see
The way she looks at you
And know
The path that took you to
The present as we know it now
Was formed by you and what you’ve said
And done. Although it seems somehow,
As I spin ‘round inside my head,
Maybe you were lost before
And lost once more
For wakening too late to find
This state
Was not what had to be –
But no,
My heart’s deceiving me.
You knew the game.
It’s what you’ve chosen all the same.

So what am I within it all?
A shadow painting on the wall?
A useful refuge,
Passing thrill,
Stimulation,
Clashing will?
Still, I wait and hope – what for? –
A look, a smile,
A gentle hand,
The secret glance
That serves to brand
Your name upon my heart…

…Are you still there?
Don’t leave
For not alone my heart,
Still more my soul
Would grieve.

There’s so much more I’d like to say
To you, but never will.
I’ve not the power to walk away
And so I stand here still
In hope I’ll find it just a dream,
That nothing’s been
Reality, that I’m not bound
To you, that ground
Is firm – but then,
You know,
I’d dream you back again.

(1983)

© Cate Kimberley and Word and Affect, 2012

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