Margaret Atwood

18 November 1939 / Ottawa, Ontario

The Shadow Voice

My shadow said to me:
what is the matter
Isn't the moon warm
enough for you
why do you need
the blanket of another body
Whose kiss is moss
Around the picnic tables
The bright pink hands held sandwiches
crumbled by distance. Flies crawl
over the sweet instant
You know what is in these blankets
The trees outside are bending with
children shooting guns. Leave
them alone. They are playing
games of their own.
I give water, I give clean crusts
Aren't there enough words
flowing in your veins
to keep you going.
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