September 2nd, 2008

Superheroes

With "The Dark Knight" fresh in my mind, I began thinking again about the very modern cultural phenomenon of superheroes.  Why so popular?  What does this curious anti-realism mean?

With identities protected,
and powers unsuspected,
they prowl the night in tights and capes
righting wrongs in escapades
beyond all expectation.

They are the superheroes,
charging through the pages
of comic books, frustrating
costumed villains and their nihilistic rages.

They're missing from actual life,
offspring of artist and writer,
embodying colorful strife
with mythic forcefulness, ready to fight.

Or, are they, somehow, us? 
Don't we conceal
our true identities,
afraid to reveal
vulnerabilities,
Achilles' heels?

Don't we have hidden powers
surprising even ourselves -
startling bursts of energy
when finally trying our hardest?

It's not exactly real
but what one feels
is that you're flying,
tossing boulders like toys,
destroying the obstacles thrown in your way,
succeeding at deeds
the world needs
to be done.