Shadow Puppets by Joe Williams

We cast shadow puppets  
on the bedroom wall,  
in the circle of light we’ve made, 
the lamp angled up so it beams across  
the single mattress, and us.  

I can manage an adequate
rabbit,  and a Homer Simpson
that’s good,  or bad, enough to 
make her laugh.  

Like this, she says, feathering my 
palms,  turning me into an eagle.  

Together, four-handed,  
we figure out ways  
to create fantastic creatures,  
alien worlds,  
visions of the future.



About the Author:

Joe Williams is an award-winning writer and performing poet from Leeds. His latest book is the pamphlet ‘This is Virus’, a sequence of erasure poems made from Boris Johnson’s letter to the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic. His verse novella ‘An Otley Run’, published in 2018, was shortlisted in the Best Novella category at the 2019 Saboteur Awards. His poems and short stories have been included in numerous anthologies, and in magazines online and in print. Despite all of that, he is probably most widely read thanks to his contributions to Viz. More at http://www.joewilliams.co.uk

This poem was first published by Sentinel Literary Quarterly, 2018. It also appears in ‘Play’, an anthology by Paper Dart Press, 2018.