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not a shadow

by Linda M. Crate

i am me


but i feel the most

able to be


around kindred spirits;

those who appreciate

my humor and my beauty

those who won't scoff

or hide from my intensity or

my dreams—

not everyone who smiles

at you is a friend,

this can be a hard lesson to learn;

especially if you've ever

felt starved of love

or affection—

a long time ago they convinced

me to bury myself,

present the things they thought

a person ought to be;

who they wanted me to reflect—

but i shook off the dust,

and smashed open the coffin;

leaving behind the skeleton and shell

of that ghost behind because i am

meant to be me

not a shadow.


Linda M. Crate (she/her) is a Pennsylvanian writer whose poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has twelve published chapbooks the latest being: Searching Stained Glass Windows For An Answer (Alien Buddha Publishing, December 2022). She is also the author of the novella Mates (Alien Buddha Publishing, March 2022). Her debut book of photography Songs of the Creek (Alien Buddha Publishing, April 2023) was recently published.


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