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Poetry: My Shadow

25th Oct 2013

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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