KAGEMUSHA (The Shadow Warrior)
by Linda Ehrlich

A thief, yet he looks like a lord.

(Yellow sun, centered in a red sky.)

Children and animals can tell the difference,
    still the double takes chances.
Shadow of the shadow.

There can be no mistakes.

When the shadow warrior takes up his banner, real men fall in battle. 

 Riderless horses rush forward
   in a landscape of carnage.

Draped in white, the shadow warrior watches     helpless.

He alone tastes victory

            or its shadow       which is the same.


(inspired by Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior, dir. KUROSAWA Akira, Japan, 1980)

Linda C. Ehrlich, associate professor at Case Western Reserve University