Two Shadows

/ /

The little one belongs to her
and the taller one is mine, though I doubt
she knows the shadows walking hand
in hand ahead of us in the field
are ours. If I walk behind her mine,
without a word, overshadows
all of hers, a magic I think she likes.
And when I walk at her side again,
the two of us return, a giant
and his long-legged little helper,
who’s new enough to walking still
she manages a wobble or swings
a foot in picking the place to put it.
None of this beautiful, secret love
will last. Other shadows will come
along, and she’ll see her own one day
apart from mine. But before those fates
arrive, I’m going to stretch my arms,
and tipping and twirling, I’ll show her how
to turn her shadow into a bird
and rest it softly in the tree,
and afterward, when she sees a shadow,
perhaps she’ll think of birds or me.