Tucson Festival of Books

Sean Webb, 1st Place, Poetry, 2024 Literary Awards

The Shadow Revolt

I reject the sun’s mindless demands!

shouts my shadow as it climbs on top of me,

refusing its place underfoot. Soon it is joined

by countless shadows leaving the ground,

abandoning tall buildings, climbing up

into bushes and trees. The dumb stumbling

shade at the feet of toddlers free themselves

and nod headlong into the charge. Castings

of cats indifferently leave their familiars.

Shadows of slobbering dogs galumph

into the heavens. The ordinary darkness

cast by stationary objects—sundials,

power poles, cars, buses, dumpsters,

tables, chairs, freight trains, monuments

free themselves from mundane utility.

Dark standbys of statues join in the ascension

rapidly darkening the sky. We’ve had enough

of the bourgeoisie! Down with the status quo!”

We’re seizing the means of production!

All of the shadows in myriad forms and lengths

fill the sky and blot out the sun, casting themselves

on the panicked cast of hapless entities running

blindly below, shrouded in their own darkness,

suddenly awash in absence, waiting for night

to quell the rebellion and return order to their lives.