• Despoina Arcadia

Shadow Cloak

Updated: Mar 24

Shadow Cloak | Witch poems

The gift of life, passed to my child

Came with severe conditions.

My gift of life came with a penalty -

I gave my son mortality.

The shadow visits every evening

Infiltrating my consciousness

Stabbing my stomach with taunts

Future pains, loss, sadness, grief

reaches inside my chest and crushes my heart.

What if something happens?

I know something will happen.

Loss is inevitable, I can no longer bear it.

I dug a deep hole and buried myself alive.

I sank deep into the earth.

The underworld was muddy and damp

I descended to the depths of darkness

To a steep ledge above a shadow pool.

A black mirror of death and misery

An abrupt abyss of pain,

lost innocence, fear and uncertainty

My footing slipped and I fell head first

The liquid was cutting and cold

Each time I surfaced, it tugged me back down

When I clawed myself out, a heavy shadow held on to me.

I crawled, naked, cold and muddy back up the roots

And dug myself out from under the tree.

The shadow wrapped tightly around my neck.

I banished it repeatedly, yet it stayed firm.

Loss is inevitable. The fear must be too.

I journeyed six hours with the shadow.

It stayed steadfast and tightly attached.

Leave me be, you deathly spirit!

The shadow whispered hard truths in my ear.

“Yes loss is inevitable, but fear of loss is not.

Your instinct to shelter, protect and shield

Is not allowing your seedling to grow.

Your fear is blocking his life force.

Harsh realities need to be faced alone

Pain, heartbreak, loss and betrayal

Are required for his soul growth”

The shadow assured me continually,

“When you next hug your son, I will join him”

I was sick with fear but could do nothing else.

My boy greeted me in the rain.

Dimples and pyjamas, arms stretched wide.

Our embrace was eternal.

In the dark, damp night, I nursed him tight.

I watched the shadow jump onto my son.

I cried tears of acceptance and realization,

My fear shadow transmuted into strength.

A mother’s agonizing distress and worry

became a fine cloak of freedom and resilience.

Without death, there is no life.

Without shadows, there is no light.

Without heartbreak, there is no purpose.

Grow my son, grow strong with my second gift.

I am no longer afraid of what will be.

You will face hardships. You will face death.

But, you'll face them wearing the cloak of my eternal strength.

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