Morning sun on a sparrow’s flight
creates a shadow, scooting along,
bird on grass, gray on green,
large and fuzzy as a heron, and fast.

The shadow’s a matter of light,
waves and absence, not soul, not ghost.

Now the sparrow’s gone—just like that!
The shadow too. They are not dead yet,
though the bird will dissolve someday
into other matter.

But what becomes of the shadow,
which surely one could measure?
It must be as real as the bird.

Maybe the shadow will only disappear,
not cease—a phantom’s trick after all.

The bird has the integrity to die
and see what else. The shadow—sneaky,
safe and certain as an echo—roosts
in the Great Rookery of Shadows,
wherever that may be.


Photo used under CC.