April 19 : Shadow hands

The dog is easy but crude:
a one-handed shadow.
What about birds?
Can I do the crane if I practice?
Are my knuckles supple enough
to make the mane of a lion rearing?

I don’t recall any evenings in my childhood
when I sat in awe of shadows. Now I see
the darker and lighter shades, natural scaling
as I move my hands closer to the wall, then away.
I wonder why I never saw these before.
Were night shadows taboo?
Did night light have to be politely indirect?

The windowpanes rattle on:
stories they saw and heard before radio,
stories told to entertain,
not to grab attention made scarce
in the fullness of time.
We could listen without prejudice
and hold our breath.

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