My sons and I were at a used book store this weekend and we picked up this quite large book about the history of Marvel comics. When I was my oldest son’s age (9), comics were a big part of my life. I had many, many comics, sorted by various categories, and could not get enough of these stories of flawed heroes and their adventures.
This poem for my One Poem Every Month for a Year project sprang to life as I perused the Marvel comic books and recognized many long-forgotten names and stories.
Listen to the poem
The soul of a superhero
complex and unfathomable —
full of inconsistencies that bend reality
on some sort of divergent ground
in which the powerless ignite,
standing down the villains of oppression
and righting wrongs in spite of themselves
and their own limitations of
I stand here, a collector of souls,
piled dozens deep in a paper bag
and purchased with pocket change
how I, too, can be altered in some accident
and if it were to be for the better or for the worse
if I could suddenly fly and fight and protect
or if it is better that my destiny is to remain
immobile and passive in the face of the Evil
threatening to shatter this world
into tiny tentacles of suffering and paranoia
and dangerous illusion.
The child in me yearns for power that is just beyond me;
the adult in me fears it,
knowing as I do the responsibility of our
the bravery masked as impulsiveness and
that innocence that ventures close to imperfection.
Brazenness was never my virtue
and so my powers remain dormant
somewhere inside this timeworn paper bag
even as I await the calling of the hero
inside of me.
This seemed an appropriate time to use my son’s Comic Book Creator program:
(click on the comic to view the PDF version)
Peace (with powers of the unknown),