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  • I see him in shadows by the pond

    near his house where I walk

    when I take that path to the waters edge

    down behind the thorn bushes

    he sometimes follows me in silence

    parallel

    on a higher path

    shadow man

    a shadow

    does he know I know he's there

    feel his frightened eyes

    he travels with darkness

    in a heavy cloud of fear

    he is fearful

    fearful of his own thoughts

    he fears he's invisible

    knows the demons in his head

    they are well acquainted

    he says he can unleash the monsters if he wants

    but instead holds tight

    when he comes here

    to me

    he comes on feet of fog

    says he feels a pull

    a call to come

    believes I have the power to ground him

    when the voices speak

    I won't let him in

    can't let him in far

    we stand in the yard

    he talks

    says he needs to talk

    he's grey

    skin grey

    red eyes

    does he cry

    he doesn't sleep

    he has drugs

    drugs of the prescription kind

    mostly still in the safety proof bottles

    where he keeps them safe

    sadness

    for him

    for me

    he's lost

    helplessness

    I listen

    I know his story well

    he tells it again and again

    stuck

    he shares in moments of great pain

    remembrances

    shame

    abuse

    speaks of hell unleashed

    things done to him and things he did to others

    lost in ghosts

    they go with him everywhere

    sucking him to shades of gray

    as he holds himself so tight

    and I want to hold him too

    he looks to me for comfort

    for forgiveness

    he comes closer to tell me with such urgency

    how he needs help to keep him from insanity

    he wants me to understand

    that he knows I don't understand

    apologizes for himself

    talks of things I can not see

    says I know the secrets

    of him

    of them

    please calm them

    him

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