Adopting Heroic Dreams

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Adopting Heroic Dreams

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audio: Adopting Heroic Dreams
audio of Dave Engeldrum's poem, Adopting Heroic Dreams

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Adopting Heroic Dreams

In asbestos gloves and oxygen tank,
I snatched a girl from a smoldering cot
last night, lay her on my shoulder, and thanked
her for coming. “You’ve been through a lot,”
I said. “I can’t wait for you to meet her.
She’s been going nuts to have a sister.”

Tonight, robed in a wetsuit like a Navy Seal,
I’ll slip on my flippers and goggles,
and dive in the chilly waters to steal
the urchin away from the fish. It boggles
the mind how much paperwork it takes
to be a hero – I’ll bring my lawyer, in case.

She craves someone to grow up alongside,
to share secrets, jokes, and the backseat
with on long rides in the swell of sunshine.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll discreetly
see if a man can plan a family that way:
Gathering fruit from damaged trees by day.