- Alberto Rios
Shadows are the patient apprentices of everything.
They follow what might be followed,
Sit with what will not move.
They take notes all day long --
We don't pay attention, we don't see
The dark writing of the pencil, the black notebook.
Sometimes, if you are watching carefully,
A shadow will move. You will turn to see
What has made it move, but nothing.
The shadows transcribe all night.
Transcription is their sleep.
We mistake night as a setting of the sun:
Night is all of them comparing notes,
so many gathering that their crowd
Makes the darkness everything.
Patient, patient, quiet and still.
One day they will have learned it all.
One day they will step out, in front,
And we will follow them, be their shadows,
And work for our turn --
The centuries it takes
To learn what waiting has to teach.
[Note: Originally posted in August 2008.]