The children of the shadows stepped
With pointed toes and daunted breath
Across the shadows of the streams,
Deep with death and melted dreams.
We watched the lightning cross the sky
The last heat of the last hard sigh,
And let our feet fall to the stones.
We drowned the chilling undertones,
Escaped into the winter cold.
Escaped from autumn’s burning gold,
Forgot its twisted lullaby.
And how to care. And how to cry.
Time goes, numbed in drink and dawn.
The winter people lived the song.
We danced like beetles under fire,
Drawn to beauty and desire.
We followed laughter where it led,
Into smoke, and sin, and bed.
We were children. Actors. Fools.
Playing by our coldest rules.
How heartless were our childish trials
Steeped in dances and denials.
We yearned to break away and roam,
We who have or love no home.
Here to destroy ourselves. Here to alloy ourselves.
Only to tear and to teach and annoy ourselves.
The children of the shadows flew,
Knew not what we loved, but loved what we knew.
Shadows of alleys. Shadows of smiles.
The sounds of the shadows fade over miles.
We had been beaten, been married, been robbed.
We came to sing in the streets for the mob.
To forget, to forsake, to invent our own past,
We came with the wind, the cold dry blast.
By blue skies we parted, in shadows of spring.
Escaping the pain that the painlessness brings.
Written by Anna Williams at Age 17
Monday after Easter
in Prague, Czechoslovakia