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Poetry: My Shadow

28th Mar 2014

My Shadow

Night and day, rain or shine
My shadow follows close behind
Not a looming spectre of darkness
But a glowing silhouette of radiance

Soft, brown eyes, pensive
Quick to grasp, attentive
Her innocent, watchful gaze
Absorbing every gesture, phrase

Echoing my laughter and sighs
Mimicking my expressions and cries
Assimilating without critique
My values, attitude, beliefs
Merrily traipsing behind me,
Mirroring whatever she sees

As I interact, so does she
As I chide her, she chides me
I am her aspiration, model of perfection
She wants to grow up to be just like me

But I worry, how long will she
Be so small, looking up at me?
How long will her pure heart and soul
Perceive all flaws
As colourful shades of a beautiful rainbow?

When her heart grows judicious, wise
To see as clearly as her eyes
Will her heart sink with dismay
To find contradictions, pretence and role-play?

Where she saw faith, prayer, devotion
Will she find distraction, empty motion?
Where she saw vigour and candour
Will she find suppressed bitterness, anger?

Will the charm and sweetness she adored
Be exposed as flattery, fraud?
Will my passion for truth and justice
Ring hollow …  preaching without practice?

When my child truly sees
The truth with all its subtleties
Will she still raise her beautiful eyes
To the skies and plead
I want to be just like my Mummy, please?
Fatema Valji

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