Sun and Shadow by Simon MacCulloch

I asked my shadow why he feared the sun

And felt the need to skulk so low behind me

Come out, I cried, the day has just begun

I want no creeping hug-the-ground to bind me!

“Well, walk the other way, I’ll go ahead 

I thought you’d rather lead me than be led.”


You dodge the issue, shadow; I have seen

The way you shift around to shun the light

But Mithras – that’s his name – has always been

A friend to us; why cower from his sight?

“Don’t give me ‘skulk’ and ‘cower’; all I do

Is what I’ve learned to imitate from you.”


You do it rather poorly; stand up straight

And walk along beside me like a man

I don’t like being followed, and I hate

To hear excuses, when I know you can.

“Your wish is my command, old chum, as ever

But don’t be sure of Mithras there – he’s clever.”


Then up my shadow got and pranced around me

And in the sky the sun went dancing too

Which didn’t, as you might have thought, astound me

But only served to prove what Einstein knew: 

Relationship is everything, and so

As shadow moves, the sun is sure to go.


Simon MacCulloch lives in London. He is a regular contributor to Reach Poetry, The Dawntreader and Sarasvati.


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