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

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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…

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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    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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