Poem inspired by passing of Anthony Bourdain

Every soul is on a journey
Accompanied by its shadow
For where there is light, there, too, does it linger

If one were to walk toward the light
It follows you, barely noticed
Like memories along for the ride

Ever present and unimposing
Like a silent companion, or guiding compass
Ready for reminiscing and reflection

And, indeed, it does the wandering soul good
Wonders for those tired and weary
To get a sense of how far one has come

But a shadow can be a fickle friend
Especially if it is prone to the kind of brooding
That conjures what ifs and what could’ve beens

Look too longingly at what lies behind you
And you could find yourself slowing to a standstill
And, worse, walking away from the light

In such a situation, your shadow is superimposed
Stretched out ahead over a path now paved with regret
Stuck in rewind, you reach and reach but fail to grasp at ghosts

And you change as a different kind of shadow falls across your face
The light in your eyes dwindle, overtaken by despair
As you walk back the way you came and none of it seems the same

Every soul is on a journey
Accompanied by its shadow
Whether a friend or foe, only you can know

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