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.