Birdman, Colombian

In response to a challenge at Ekphrastic Review. Here are all the poems generated by this photo of a Colombian Breastplate. Thanks, Lorette, for including my poem with the others!

A golden, first century breastplate —
mythic protection in battle. Mortals
have sought aegis from the gods
since time began, it seems.

When my youngest was three,
he wore an Incredible Hulk T-shirt
every day for a year, certain his kinship
with the angry green goliath
could transmogrify a toddler
to a Titan older kids would fear. 

I hope the Columbian warrior
with a flying deity on his chest
found more success than my guileless,
doomed boy, whose brother and sister
held him down and made him smell
the lint in their belly buttons.

– Sarah Russell
First published in Ekphrastic Review
For Poets United Poetry Pantry
Photo source: Breastplate
Photo source: Hulk Kid


23 thoughts on “Birdman, Colombian

    1. Poor little kid was doomed. That year at pre-school when he went on his birthday in a different t-shirt, the teacher asked him what his name was. He was taken aback and said, “I’m Jared!” She answered. “No, you can’t be. Jared wears an Incredible Hulk t-shirt everyday.” He said, “I growed up now. I’m 4!” But alas, the persecution continued…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sigh. I can relate to your youngest son, Sarah. For me, it was Wonder Woman, during the mid-1970s. Never really like the Hulk, too smash first, think later.


    1. Thanks, Rajani. My littlest kid, now 42, liked it too. Awhile back I gave him a vintage Hulk lunch box for Christmas. He loved it, and had to tell the story to his kids of his “bromance” with the big green man.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think individual development closely parallels the human mythic — so we are first hominids when born, Bronze Age marauders at 2, Old Testamental by 6, etc. By that age I was haunted by and hunted Eve, playing doctor in the woods. Anyway, great ekprhasing of old into new.


  3. Your transition from mythical warrior to child-trying-survive is so smooth. And I really love that tenderness you put into the last two stanzas… There is a hint of humor–with the bellybutton lint sniffing and all–but the smiles don’t mask the tone that suggests the speaker really wish she could save the child from the indignity.


    1. Thanks, Magaly. Because I was an only child, I loved and continue to love watching my three kids interact. Even as adults they’re good friends. Probably all that horsing around as kids contributes to that, but yes, I wish I could have saved him!

      Liked by 1 person

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