I grew up knowing your shadow
But not your reality.
Your shadow stood between truth and lies
Belonging and disowning
Acceptance and rejection.
You were my companion in those dark times,
The foreshadowing of myself.
You played hide and seek with me in childhood -
Scurrying behind the unsaid words,
Cornered in the jokes,
Hidden in the secret stories.
I grew up knowing your shadow,
Fearing its darkness in every argument.
Scared that, like you, I might one day
Be thrown away –
A mixture of “is” and “was not”,
Disowned, denied, detested.