Friday, September 27, 2013

September 27: A Good Night Poem, "Kryptonite," Ron Koertge

I've got a poem for you guys tonight.  It's by a poet named Ron Koertge, and I first read it in the anthology Good Poems American Places, edited by Garrison Keillor.

I'm not going to talk much about it.  It's a poem that makes you rethink a familiar story.

Saint Marty is ready for rest now.


Lois liked to see the bullets bounce
off Superman's chest, and of course
she was proud when he leaned into
a locomotive and saved the crippled
orphan who had fallen on the tracks.

Yet on those long nights when he was
readjusting longitude or destroying
a meteor headed right for some nun,
Lois considered carrying just a smidgen
of kryptonite in her purse or at least
making a tincture to dab behind her ears.

She pictured his knees giving way,
the color draining from his cheeks.
He'd lie on the couch like a guy with
the flu, too weak to paint the front
porch or take out the garbage.  She
cold peek down his tights or draw
on his cheek with a ball point.  She
might even muss his hair and slap
him around.

"Hey, what'd I do?" he'd croak just
like a regular boyfriend.  At last.

At last

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