The Persona of Shadows

The thought occurred to me while walking in the shadow of street lamps.
There is something intrinsically wrong with “Me and my shadow.”
It really has to be “Me are my shadows.”

The evidence was in front, beside and in back of me.
And the longer I walked, the more I recognized the difference.

In fact, each had a distinctively different personality.
There with me – actually before, beside, and in back of.

Bold and fun-loving, the animated visage leading the pack loomed larger.
He was the persona that got drunk on orange-flavored vodka,
Picked up a babe, and threw up in the parking lot after the school dance.

Crouching and elusive, the chameleonic visage at my elbow – yes, I know him well.
He slinked in the shadows and hurled a balloon missile of exploding water on that 57 Ford convertible and escaped through the graveyard.

And trailing dejectedly, the timorous tag-a-long,
He was always chosen last in the neighborhood game of softball.

Then I rubbed my thinning hair as I turned onto an unlighted street and thought, actually – seen or unseen — they’re part of me, and comfortable under my skin.

James Hoover is a recently retired systems engineer. He has advanced degrees in Economics and English. Prior to his aerospace career, he taught high school, and he has also taught college courses. He recently published a science fiction novel called Extraordinary Visitors and writes political columns on several websites. Read other articles by James.