Tell Me Again (of shadows and faith)

Last night, in a charming bid to avoid bedtime, one of my three-year-olds asked me, "Where does shadows go?"  I stood in the dark doorway explaining about darkness and light until they seemed satisfied.  Then, when the other boy woke at 3 am in a soaked bed, my little imp asked me to tell him again, in a less charming bid to avoid sleep, where the shadows go.  That time I told him to go to sleep, we'd talk about it in the morning.  But when I got back to bed, the question tickled my imagination and in the morning this poem was found in the question's fading shadow.  Enjoy! 

Now faith is . . . the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

"Tell me again, Mommy, where does the shadows go?"

By morning’s light, my love, as dawn creeps
over the mountain, I roll them up tight, every shape
that echos an object.  Soft like velvet, slipping smoothly
through my hands, I gather the night’s shadows,
tucking them into the far corners of your closet
and behind the attic door.  All day long they wait, 
deepening, exuding the smell of the rich,
dark earth, of damp caves and mushroom spores. 

When evening descends and you’re busy with dessert,
I roam the house, stretching shadows out again,
smoothing them flat across ceiling or floor,
these soft shapes of remembrance, the dark reminders
that what you cannot see does not cease to exist
when the lights go out.  Shadows lengthen, like faith,
as darkness descends, reminders of things unseen,
until morning's light reveals what was always present.   


  1. Kelly, this gave me chills....amazing.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing it, Jody. Your encouragement is a gift.

  2. So very bimsy...beautiful plus whimsy. I love every line.

  3. Oh, I like this poem!

    Thank you for sharing it, as well as the fun story of it's inspiration.

  4. Oh, how I love this. I may never stop saying that about your poetry, Kelly. This caught my heart - "shadows lengthen, like faith" - reminding me of something I read in the book you recently recommended to me, A grace disguised. Do you remember Jerry writing about how, in grief, the soul expands? Our capacity for not only hope and faith and compassion and love expands, but for things like despair, sorrow, anger, darkness. I've noticed in my time in the dark lately, as the shadows expand - as my soul expands - so is my faith expanding. Anyways, your words stir my imagination and help me connect things, along with being quiet breath after a long day. Love to you, friend.

    1. It's funny Amber, I don't think I recommended that book to you, but now I'm going to have to look it up! Sounds like a good one. Blessings to you, Amber.

  5. I love your gift and the way you bring life to words. Thank you for sharing it. :) One of my favorite poets is Rod McKuen. I came across one of his poems a couple of months ago that made me think you'd like it too. For some reason, I haven't figured out how to send you a message since I ditched Facebook. I hope you don't mind me posting it here. :)
    "For His Pleasure"