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by Dan Stryk

How, when young, I loved the shadow of that
      massive oak, splayed like a great fork across
           our lawn.  Squirrels leaping from its limbs

onto the wispy cross-hatchings from higher twigs
      along the rented tar-paper roof above our
           heads.  Crowning, I suppose, our indigence. 

Or now, long distant in both place and time
      from that rural town, the shadows still persist
           in altered forms.  That piece of sculpture

over there . . . ?  At an exhibit, even now, my
      interest’s in the shadows cast, before my eye,
           enticed, seeks solid shape.  And if I do say

anything (to others or myself), it’s simply this:
          “What interesting shadows.”

DeKalb, Illinois      


Dan Stryk’s collections of poems and prose parables include The Artist and the Crow (Purdue University Press) and Solace of the Aging Mare (The Mid-America Press)His most recent book, Dimming Radiance: Poems and Prose Parables (Wind Publications, 2008), combines Far Eastern and Western concepts and writing forms.  A former National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellow, his work appears in such journals as Poetry, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, and The Antioch Review, and is represented in Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets of Virginia (University of Virginia Press), among other anthologies. (6/2011)


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