Too Long the Silent Hero

“Hi, Hon!” he called with familiar grin.
(That special smile donned to disguise;
To hide aches and pains that had followed him home
From that place that could be his demise.)

After twenty odd years of the workaday shift
He’d not used her to vent indignation.
He’d traded adventurous, dream world champaign
For his work-benched, refined arbitration.

    He’d helped with the homework, the cub scouts, the games.
    The kids thought he hadn’t a worry.
    He’d built a warm house with his own two, strong hands.
    (The mortgage was due again Thursday.)

    He’d promised some bunk beds, a gym set, a shelf.
    She knew that someday they’d be done.
    Yet his hands more importantly molded their lives,
    And along with the work, he brought fun.

In order to rectify non-leasured days
The “alarm clock brigade” pays their dues,
So after the dishes were done and away
They retired to the six o’clock news.

    “It was reported today,” the newscaster had said,
    “That a small child, while playing in his front yard,
    Was viciously attacked by a huge German Shepherd.
    The neighbors reported that a man seemed to jump
    The fence from out of no where, and literally
    Wrestled the dog to the ground where they struggled 
    Till police arrived. 

    Both boy and man are now listed in stable condition
    At Seton Hospital......
    In other news, the county commissioners......”

“Man! What a hero!” their eight year old said
As his Superman Action Figure zoomed past their view.
“Boy! I’d be too scared to do that! Wouldn’t you Dad?”

“Oh, I’d be scared, all right,” his father admitted.
“It’s hard to understand
What makes a man willing
To give up his life for another.”

Well, she understood.
She also knew there was more than one way 
To channel your core with substance.

For “Hero” to her meant commitment,
With all of its tired yesterdays;
Abandoning self in exchange for the shoes
That could weigh a man down in dismay.

Perhaps the real glory 
Should go to the dad
Who gives up his dreams, to be king.
She only could pray he’d been gratified too
For the powerful bond of the ring

Jody Walker.