Stan and the Moon Shadow

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Stan and the Moon Shadow

By Su Shafer


When he got out of bed, the moon was moving in the sky.

As it always was, of course, but with more excitement that day than usual. 


It was common place for the moon to be seen in the daytime, but today 

It would meet the sun face to face and wear its fiery crown, as 

The Earth looked on, far below.


It was a big day for the moon, but for Stanley, not so much.

Just another passing shadow added to a life 

Where everything was painted with a leaden umbra.


When he opened his eyes, his room overflowed with a dull gloom


More than darkness, as if the blackness in his dreams spilled 

Out of his head and flooded the air, staining the carpet like an oil spill, 


Turning white walls a dirty gray.

Flipping the light on, the shadows scattered like roaches, 

Cowering behind the dresser, huddling under the chair. 


Dispersed but not dispelled. 

But still, this was a victory. Always the goal of his day. 

There’s no way to rid oneself of shadows, 


But he could, if he tried, keep them at bay. 


They were loitering everywhere:

Swirled into the black of his coffee, 


Pressed between the newspaper pages 

As he breakfasted on granola and obituaries. 

They peeked out of the cat kibble as he poured it in the bowl.


Every step on the porch covered the one below with a cold carpet of shadow. 

His hand grasping the rail for balance sent a dark portrait of his frailty

To the concrete canvas of the patio. 


He felt the shadows growing around him, lurking. 


Hovering over him like a Stygian claw, 

Then slipping back to nonchalance when he turned.


But they would get him one day, he knew. 

It’s what happened to people his age.

One day, perhaps soon, he would blink or sneeze, 


And a shadow would rush in like a sneaker wave 

And swallow him whole. And he’d be gone. 

Alone and lost in a dark endless void of nothingness.


He didn’t need to look up to know when the trickster moon stole the sun’s blazing crown. 


The day darkened and became the moon’s shadow. Then the show was over.


The moon took off the golden crown with a quick bow and moved off stage.


That’s all we get, Stanley thought. Even the moon. Just one little minute to shine in the sun.

Su Shafer is a creative crafter, fabricating bits of writing in poetry and short stories, and other bits into characters that appear in paintings or sit on various bookshelves and coffee tables.

She lives in a cottage on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, where the tea kettle is always whistling and the biscuits freshly baked.

One never knows who might stop by to share a rainy afternoon.

Su Shafer’s writing can be enjoyed on the Sparks pages of The Write Spot Blog, The Write Spot to Jumpstart Your Writing: Discoveries and The Write Spot: Musings and Ravings From a Pandemic Year.

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