Dispatch #061

A Shadow on the Wall

by Thaddeus Howze

Have you ever wondered if
you’ve died and no one told you?

You’re going through the motions
but nothing in your life changes…

A series of GroundHog Days, passing you by…
Each day just like the one before.
Nothing new. Nothing better.
Nothing worse.

Just a quiet erosion of your spirit,
eating away at your resolve.
A struggle to care about
the things you once
thought you loved.

never thought
you would give up.

Or could imagine living without.

This is my life now,
watching the days go by,
counting the hours, living in fear
of life’s vicissitudes, its tribulations.

You are in a place where the urge to roar
back at life is replaced with a fear of being seen,
ostracized, your heart ossified, fragile, breakable.

When did I die? When did I become afraid to live?

I made the mistake of believing I was my job.
Who am I when work isn’t a possibility?
What do you hang your identity on?
Who are you when you don’t work
for someone? Do you know?

I bet you don’t.

When was the last time you were something
that wasn’t your work mask, your labor identity,
your municipal supersuit which validates your life,
your work, your home, your family, your identity

When was the last time
you were alive and asked:

“If I didn’t go to work,
what would I be?”

Would I be enough for me?

Or do I only exist
in the firelight
of the denial
of self,

in a cave of wonders, where I wonder
when I lost who I was
chasing what I
was told
to be.

Sent on: 11/9/2020

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