A Human Hero

From up here it’s simple to say you see

what this legendary saga of long ago is all about.

His is a life dedicated to demonstrating personal worth,

exemplify utmost bravery in the face of battle

no matter the odds, embodying ideal leadership

of a dependent citizenry unable to fend without him.

But right down there in the thick of it knocking

in his head, you never see that inner anguish.

That side’s not sung about so much,

how each time he takes up the sword

not knowing whether he will weather

this new battle, his mind is full of dread and wonder.

He carries all their wished for weight all the time,

has to be what everyone believes him into being,

everything they demand he should be when he leads.

That daily grind will catch up with any man,

and throw in aging, the sooner something will kill you

in the end, which is what we see in his story.

Human after all is only human.

There’s nothing in a man, no matter how heroic and benign

that is divine.

So here he lies, a sacrifice to public perception and dependency,

an offering to their presumption and ideal blind wish.

This peace he brings, you have to know,

will be temporary, and so it brings

only momentary relief,

for life is no fairy tale.

Bad news in the real world always looms,

some kind of challenge always impending.

So if there is no champion to step up

to battle and lead, to take his place,

what will they sing of then?

Many brag themselves of his accomplishments

as if those were their own,

but his are his,

and this is a woeful warning,

a cautionary tale that all talk of him,

all they recall and retell of his deeds and admirable leadership

mean nothing in the end

for dead is only dead,

and legend will serve no practical purpose when

the next threat confronts this citizenry absent

their fading from memory one-time hero.

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