Invisible friend

I left you behind in my mother’s house, hiding between the walls.

You crept into the crack and we were lost in two directions.

I remember, hatless sunburned days out riding my bike, and you were there too, my lovely shadow, foot to foot on the pedal as we pushed away together.

We hid from mother behind the bamboo screen, sticky fingers splayed over mouths bursting with laughter.

We curled up snug as baby mice under the duvet, reading stories by the dim glow from amber streetlights outside.

And when they argued, and the room shook like a galleon caught in a gale, you comforted me and covered my eyes with your hands.

I left you behind in my mother’s house, hiding between the walls.

But, last night I saw you, peering out of the mirror,  you seemed a scarecrow, a changeling transfixed between worlds.

And I saw your black eyes widen as you saw me.


**** **** ****


You left me behind in your mother’s house, and I crept between the walls.

Each time I tried to catch your fingers in mine, you slipped through them, ephemeral as spring rain over the rooftops.

You used to drag your hairbrush through my spiky curls and tug at burrs and brambles until it shone.

Now, I am withered, and snarled, drawn in upon myself, for what is a shadow without light?

I found you in your reflection, silver glass distorting your face.

I am no longer your perfect twin,

lost, abandoned.

I am the cast off of your past, a fledgling trapped in the weave of the nest, unable to fly.


This was an experimental pair of poems that I wrote a couple of years ago. When I was little, I, like many other children, had an invisible friend. In this poem, I’m exploring what happens to that friend when the child grows up. I tried to incorporate something a bit supernatural here too, perhaps the friend is imaginary, perhaps they are a fairy/fey/sprite?




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