Friday, January 30, 2015

There's a show on TV that my boys have been watching lately called Stanley's Super Humans.  It has a man who is supposedly the most flexible human on earth going on a search for others with super human abilities.  So far, what I've overheard in the background, the show has highlighted a man who can withstand high electrical charges (his body is a conductor and he's not electrocuted), a man who can eat glass and other stuff people shouldn't, a blind kid who uses echolocation almost as well as the sighted can see, a man who can calculate in his head incredible math problems, another who has a amazing photographic memory, a fellow who isn't affected by black mamba venom (yikes!), and others.
All of my boys are fascinated by superpowers, but my youngest is the most interested.  He's regularly talking about superpowers he'd like to have.  The following poem I wrote was inspired by him.  It's a conversation with the dad's voice in italics and the son's voice in regular text.

My son asked me what super power I’d want the most
Would you like to be strong or invisible like a ghost?
What about fast, faster than a jet?
Or breathing underwater, that’s what you’d want, I bet

I already have super powers, I thought you knew
They’re more powerful than dynamite, you have them too
They’re stronger than the muscle man you saw on T.V.
And they’re better than x-ray vision, they change what you see

Can you cause tornadoes or tsunamis or terrible earthquakes?
Can you go back in time and change mistakes
Can you read someone’s mind, and tell what they’re thinking
Or teleport around the world faster than my eyes blinking?

Those powers are amazing, but none can I do
It’s probably a good thing I can’t do them too
Who knows what would happen if such super powers we had
I think things would go from worse to really very bad

Then what super powers do you have and which have you used?
It may not be a super power, but you have me confused!
Are you made of rubber and able to stretch out?
Tell me what super powers you’re talking about

They’re really amazing though few seem to know
Since they’re done quite quietly, without a big show
Though many think they’re not super or even a power
Since we like the cool and wow, these may seem dull and dour

So tell me, Dad!  What’s your secret gift?
I know you’re pretty strong since I’ve seen you lift
But I don’t think you’d win any muscle man prize
Since your muscles aren’t nearly the biggest size

The super powers I’m talking about aren’t anything like those
Instead they’re ordinary and common as plain as your own nose:
Here’s what I can do at any old time
Use super powers that change the worst paradigm

I can forgive the bullies, instead of hurt them back
I can share what I have with others, especially those who lack
I can help those in need, even pick up other’s trash
I can encourage the discouraged quicker than a flash
I can change my attitude when I’m disappointed or mad
I can still smile and be kind even when I feel bad
I can be appreciative, even though I don’t get what I want
And not join in the crowd when others tease and taunt
I can speak up for those unseen and unheard
And when others lie, I can always keep my word

These super powers may not be what you expected
But they’re overlooked and too often neglected
They may not melt a machine’s metal parts
But they melt the coldest of cold icy hearts
They may not see through walls and or other stuff
But they can see through hurt and anger enough
They help people whether desperate or cruel
And point the way to a far better rule

Think about how you feel when you’re treated wrong
You can let revenge become your discordant song
Or you can sing of forgiveness, mercy and grace
These are super powers most needed by the human race

You’re right, Dad, these are not what I was expecting
They’re common, but not what we’re often detecting
And I guess you’re right, I do possess these
But if I tell you something will you still love me, please?

Of course, I will, it’s something parents can’t swap
They love their children, and can never stop
It’s a super power we have to love when it hurts
And it’s the same all the time and never diverts

In that case I have one thing I’d like to confess
I’m glad for these super powers I know I possess
But as much as I see what you mean and understand why

I still would like to be able to stop bullets, run fast and fly!

© Stephen Carl

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