Shadow-Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Free Verse Poetry
How often do we question who we really are, who we’ve become, or how we’ll live out our lives? For many, the simpler life is golden. For others, questions rule. (Image from pinterest)

Submitted: January 26, 2019

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Submitted: January 26, 2019

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Shadow-Life


He knew it was time
to make the fifteen-hundred-mile trip.

 
His Tesla purred,
not like the vroom of the big rig
he’d hitched a ride with
back when he left this once sleepy town,

determined to make a mark in the Big Apple.

Turning slowly onto Main Street,
tires stirred pothole-dust,
setting adrift time’s fifty-three-year residue.

A mangy vagabond dog sauntered across his path,
glanced through the dust,

and continued on reminding him,

as he shook his head,

even modern-day ghost towns

have all kinds of shadow-lives.

Atop tin-roofed stores,
rusted weathervanes pointed east,
fixed on his ambition's resolve,
a memory-etched hitchhike,
his journey of dreams

making it in the big city.

Across the street...

Gerald's Barber Shop still stood,
its spiral peppermint pole frozen.

Department Store displays,
mere spider-infested windows
quartering mannequin tombs.

Pleasantville's only hotel,
its vacancy sign peeling,
its weathered “homey”rocking chair left idle.

Harold's Gas & Oil station,
its erosion desperately holding on,
it's two-pump-center isle still showing
45 cents a gallon.

Pulling to a stop,
he stared blankly through Lucy's Bakery window,
for even after all these years,
the faded flyer still bore semblance.
Above the words, “We Miss Him”

his thin pale face of seventeen
stared back at his now achievement-stressed-face of seventy.

He felt remorse.
The town had been good to him.
He had not reciprocated.

For so long, he had vanquished the town

from memory,

a memory he was now reliving.

 

Was not leaving his home part of the price he’d paid for success?

Abandoning the parents and people of his upbringing?

And now…was he really what the big city

had made him believe he was?


His eyes welled up seeing Lucy's old window sign askew.
"Closed."

 

The dog crossed his path again.
Or was it merely a shadow-life

Reminding him that he too

Would someday become the same.

 

So…

What was it all about?

 

He wiped sweaty palms on his Armani pants.

 

A tumble weed chased the dog into the dust clouds

as success rode out of town.

 


© Copyright 2019 Odin Roark. All rights reserved.

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