Me and my shadow – a prisoner’s poem

When I pictured my depression there’s always one thing I could seegangster
A 1950’s gangster slowly walking after me.
He would wear a long black overcoat
That would reach down to the floor
His back was broad, his neck was thick
He stood taller than a door.
His wide brimmed hat was pulled down low
Above his soulless eyes
His face carved out of granite
Always void of smiles.

He was always in the background
Drifting in and out of sight.
A hitman on a mission
From a film in black and white.
Then when I’d be at my lowest
And my darkness made me weak
Out of the shadows he would step
And with his deep slow voice would speak.

But although I didn’t trust him
And what he said was not sincere
I’d feel so weak that I’d just give in
And not stand up to face the fear.
I thought if I had just one drink
Or one line, he’d be OK
But once the hitman had me
He wouldn’t let me walk away.

I thought I couldn’t beat him
And for a long time that was true.
But since I’ve found the soul I’d lost
I have the strength to get me through.

Now when he appears
As he still does from time to time
I’ll stand up to face my fears
And control the life that’s mine.
And every time I beat him
I’ll get stronger than before
Till in the end he’ll fade away
And be gone forever more.

With permission.