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This poem is taken from PN Review 181, Volume 34 Number 5, May - June 2008.

Shadows Chris Wallace-Crabbe

We follow them around, or trot ahead
besotted, rather, by some dream of freedom
but they stay anchored to our heels and toes.

Even a factory may lay claim to one
which, in flat parody, will serve to add
a cloak of shoddy dignity.

For a sundial, say those my father made,
the swivelling triangle of shade becomes
a clock, distinguished by pure silence.

When you reach the equator (if you do)
you can pretty much find yourself standing
calmly on top of most of one,

your own personal double, that is;
but they learn self-denial, abnegation,
on any day with solid banks of cloud.

The cinema is built on them, of course:
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