Are There Shadows in Summer?

If so, I scarcely see them

Deborah Barchi
2 min readMar 7


Photo by Ben Wilkins on Unsplash

Are there shadows
in summer?
If so,
I scarcely
see them.

Like a child, too often my attention is drawn
to what is bright and new.

But in winter there is little
to snare my curious eyes

except the sprawling shadows
beneath the naked trees.

Shifting and amorphous, engendered by moon
or sunlight, shadows too often go unnoticed.

Whether summer or winter
seen or unseen
shadows are part of our lives
fleeting and mysterious,
elusive as our dreams.

This short poem came to me as I looked out my second story window and noticed the long, attenuated shadows under the forest trees that stand very close to the boundaries of my rural property.

I thought to myself, “Why don’t I pay more attention to shadows? Surely there are just as many, probably more shadows, every day of the year if there is sunlight or moonlight to cast them.”

Shadows have no solidity, but they do make an impression when you notice them. And we know that shadows also carry with them the sense of something mysterious, perhaps even threatening, especially if we find ourselves making our way alone along a deserted street!

I recently wrote a short essay about why I love black and white film. One of the reasons is because of the shadows, which are so much more noticeable when color isn’t distracting our eyes.

If our world were entirely without shadows, I think we would become disoriented and perhaps even a bit dizzy; for shadows make us understand the depth and shape and orientation of so much in our world.



Deborah Barchi

Deborah Barchi has recently retired from her career as a librarian and now has time to read, explore nature, and write poetry and essays.