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The Shadow Stands Without

The shadow stands without,
Encased in glass, unseen but watching –
Wishing, longing – in darkness dreaming
Of other roles, of relationships, of talents,
Of participation and its receipt
(Of laughter, applause, and envy)

At the same time, a step on that stage,
The thought alone, brings fear unending –
Shaking, screaming – in silence crying
Of possibilities, of dreams, of fates,
Of inevitable horrors and their dooms
(Of silence, coldness, and jeers)

The parade of nightmares cycles and grows
And spins with wishes in a turbulent rage
Keeping the shadow from the stage
Without a superficial skin – a face,
An act – an appealing role with flare and grace:
The perfect mask for the out of place.

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