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Shadow and light

Sometimes to the eye, the green shadow of the vine
has more substance than the vine itself, its leaves
fluttering, translucent awnings in the mind.

Tall morning shadows of children exaggerate
the future everywhere. Saints and reprobates alike
cast shadows in the harsh light of the real.

And memory is full of shadows, borrowing light
from contemplation to discern the faces and forms
of all who have slipped away from our embrace.

If in that last darkness there is light, jasper walls
will test our final substance. Perhaps the dead will
know us first by tracing the shadows that we cast.