Hero

Original Text: 

Ian Williams. Personals. Calgary, Alberta. Freehand Books. 2012.

1                                              the hero wins
2because that's what heros do when you spend
3the money to buy the DVD of a movie you already
4know the ending to, not because you’ve seen it before
5but because you heard from a colleague in HR
6that it would make you feel real good after,
7it was the best thing she’s seen lately, and that’s
8with her being married and every morning pushing spoons
9into the faces of her two children
10                                                                      so you watch it
11knowing the only thing that will make you feel good
12this evening is seeing a bare-chested man wail on another
13in a ring and another in a street and another in a ring
14in slow-mo and the dff dff sounds of the gloves striking
15bodies in movies, which don’t sound like bodies for real,
16not that you’d admit to knowing that,
17                                                                                 and the hero
18doesn’t even look like heroes in the real world
19which are not the heroes in grade four essays either
20but like (stay with me) this one time you dropped by a woman’s place
21and you were sitting at her kitchen table and she asked you
22if you wanted anything to drink and she opened the fridge
23and you saw through the crack between her body
24and the door only a pitcher of water on the wire shelf
25in the yellow light—
26                                            you want to call her a hero
27because she’s surviving with her mouth shut
28or yourself because you’re so affected must mean
29you’re noble. Go ahead. But there are other words
30for you two.
RPO poem Editors: 
Jim Johnstone
RPO Edition: 
2013
Form: 
Special Copyright: 

Poem used with permission of the author.