Who Saves the Hero?
Heroes are strength.
They are everything we aspire to be.
There is a certain light in their eyes—
be it a warm, comforting glow,
candlelight flickering undying against shrill winter winds
or a blazing, furious fire
a crackling whirlwind of growling flames
ready to consume
They are both shield and sword, ready
to jump in front of the bullet train,
driving it to the ground with only the flat of their palm
to meet cold metal
Ready to launch themselves into smoke,
to tear enemies down as if they were only grass blades.
Because to them, that is all they are
When I am weak.
When I am nothing but a shriveling dust in my shell
When ashes have come to claim me, and I am no more
A hero shall rise
A hero to come to my aid
When my own arms lay broken and torn
A hero will raise his hand for me
When my voice is a mouse, limp and bleeding in the cat’s mouth
he will shout, a clear, bellowing shout
and all will hear him
Who will save me?
When I cannot run
When I can’t climb or jump or step or speak or breathe
A hero will.
A hero will save me.
A hero to defeat all those I cannot defeat
A hero to defeat them all
Every last one.
All of them.
But all empires come to fall.
All days must fade to night
Even the crashing tide must recede
And the hero will have no strength
he will know his weakness
When he can no longer shake the earth
When he cannot run
When he can’t climb or jump or step or speak or breathe
Who will save him?
Who will save the hero?
If he was the strongest of us all
If he was the one bearing the mountain on his back
Then who could carry his burden
When it became too heavy for him?
When the stars fell from the sky
who caught them?
When he couldn’t
When we couldn’t
When I couldn’t
The final battle hymn will die out
leaving only the frailest of heartbeats
the unsteady rhythm
keeping time as the funeral march begins
the requiem will fill the silence
And we will remember him
But I pity him
for while there was always
stronger than me
there was nothing stronger than him
There was nothing there for them
When you are the net to catch those who fall
who will catch you?
Who will save you?
Who will save the hero?
• • •
The artwork above is a piece I did two years ago for my art class, originally titled “Heartbroken.” If I were to rename it now, it might be something like “Silenced” or “Flightless” or something like that. So feel free to imagine up your own title for it.