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What the Shadows Say.

 A man needs no timepiece, no calendar when he can read what the
shadows say.
 When I was a child I built a sundial in my grandmother's garden.
She regularly dismantled it not wanting stones among the lilies.
So I built a clock out of leaves and branches and soon saw how time
seemed to change with the seasons.
In our fields I told time by the shadows of our sheep. Best I loved noon
in the summer when the dumb things stood hot and still and stupid and
made almost no shade at all. I took a stick and shook it and watched
them run barely darkening the grass beneath their feet.
Later I learned how to draw the analemma how it takes the whole year to
do it to make a chart of the sun's path by plotting the shadow of a
peg on the windowsill against the unmoving wall. It's like 8-shaped
infinity that shadow and where it stops is always where it starts.
So a man who reads shadows needs no calendar, no clock, though the
hours, the days pass from him, too and the final shadows wait for him
and the sun spins away and its patterns mark the place of his grave. 

ROSEMARY AUBERT is a Canadian poet whose works have appeared in journals, anthologies, and collections for many years. she is also a novelist, the mystery author whose Ellis Portal series has attained international acclaim.

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Author:Aubert, Rosemary
Publication:Queen's Quarterly
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jun 22, 2016
Words:280
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