In America's darkest hour
they were born.
Decades later, from affluence's
cold and lonely tower
I sought them, the heroes of old
as they struggled to survive
a world of scorn. I yearned
for Good Fight's return,
remembering when the Depression
struck Freedom's home
and children, starved near to the bone
cowered, afraid, sans power
in the Land of the Brave.
Visiting the newsstand homes
of new heroic tomes
such youth sought for sooth
in Superman's poetic truth.
Red, blue and yellow clad he flew:
He was the immigrant lad whom all knew
could (if only True!) restore light
to the once shining City on the Hill.
He, in grace and might, would scarce ignore
the fascist horde descending,
the home grown foes pretending
to work the People's will.
His was the Good Fight,
he and his brethren the new knights
of the Metropolis.
In my country's bleakest time
they were born.
When we surrendered,
choosing meekest line,
it was the heroes for whom
we truly pined;
but I was not forlorn
for always they were mine:
Ever loyal, I toiled after them
ending my search, but momentarily,
at two shop walls awash in
four-color splendor, where history's
shimmering mysteries hung for sale
to the young man, the big spender.
At home, in my own Fortress of Solitude,
I peeled tape from plastic bags,
preventing sneaky snags
set to tear at my precious wares.
I turned a glinting cover to discover...
...pages still white, not yellowed by the years?!
Comics' condition maintained over decades
hidden away beneath piles of old clothes
in trunks that, stacked in attic corners,
sat as generations passed --
The adventurers of former days,
rediscovered at last!
I am Columbus, Vespucci, Da Gama,
a voyager across the years,
sailing in pulp-and-ink ships
to days when hero-trips
allayed fears of bread lines,
Nazi mines, dangers of all kinds:
The time when right was right,
when the Good War
was the Good Fight.
Today, as I read and write,
those days come into sight,
the Good Fight, to free Freedom's light
approaches once more.
Again it takes a hero's form --
That lingering, steadfast
fighter from the Romantic age
who to a despairing nation came
furious battle to wage
in Truth and Justice's name!
Join me now in welcoming him.