Sunday Stew: Sillhouette Man

by Gabriella Duncan

hey there shadow man,
I think I understand,
the outline of your fate

your silhouette stood
against the Seattle Sky
like the chalk outlining
the body of another
forgotten soul’s
name etched
on a gold leaf in
the concrete of the
city streets

when I look into the
distant place you
stopped briefly
like death

I knew this moment
and I had to relive it
it was a lesson worth
another look so I could
re-gift it…

but I saw
in you
then I

that breathless
look, that time
when one
stops to
how fresh a
breath of life
would be to
to enter in…

hey there shadow man
I think I understand
you were always real
and worthy of dignity
it wasn’t always your
fault that you could not
get free,

society only allows
two chances is
what you were lead
to believe and then
one day you woke
up unworthy of

instead of looking
for ways to rehabilitate
you we looked for ways
not to…

it probably started
long before that
when we opted
not to pay the teacher
their true value,
or the social
worker the wages
of their passion
for people
they should have
jobs because they
make things better
not because they
are having to fight
the fires so many other
cutbacks caused…

teachers should have
the joyfullest of jobs
not the laden constant
burden of paperwork
done in their own home
on their own time
and still have to work two jobs…

social workers could be
teaming with parents
to help them be better
parents or balance better
rather than trying
to fix a badly torn family
whose salvation has come a
little too late because
somebody procrastinated
in giving early intervention…

we cut corners on
the education of
our children and then
wonder why they cannot

and we cut back on
nurturing our future
our children
and they
too become

no one is able
to be home to
watch the children
and then you wonder
why people make
the choices they do

so we locked you up
in small spaces
expecting when
you came out to
be miraculously
all you were,
a silhouette of
a forgotten

the rain stains
on your jacket
the frosty top
of your head

now I understand,

I know because
someone once forgot
the human in me…