Carpenter's Farm

14 (A Shadow Searches for a Real Boy)

Poetry Inspired by Carpenter’s Farm – A Serial Novel By Josh Malerman

14 (A Shadow Searches for a Real Boy)

a man you know, a man who was never who he is
now isn’t who he never was, and doesn’t want to be,
a ghost, wounded flesh once cherished,
discarded in exchange for a fresh mask,
a featureless darkness where a face should be,
imperfect imperceptibility

all his strengths are all his former weaknesses, his
mannerisms now emboldened by his brittle armor

he is relieved of self-inflicted bondage,
failing miserably at both sadism and masochism,
released, but where did he go? can he return? is there
something to return from? to? what if his shadow returns,
comes creeping around, hunting the pieces of humanity it
once was attached to, that it never will find?
what does it do alone? pack a bag and head out on
the road, search for souls that need shadows,

where do rogue shadows go to hide in the daylight?
is there a for disenfranchised silhouettes?

familiarity undoes the finished, rips asunder the fabric of
here and there between and without prejudice,
there and here two strands of intertwining, hurricane
force disappointment

do shadows widowed become obsessed with the darkness
down beneath the distant treeline?

Poem by Shane Douglas Keene


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