By Christopher Clauss
There is a lifelong benefit
to action hero fantasies
and the crash of toy cars,
the larger than life scenarios,
the sound effects uttered thoughtlessly
by young boys at play
lost in the fantasy of adventure,
sounding almost nothing like the real thing.
We are grown now,
aware of the listening ears around us
far too mature for action heroes,
for letting our fantasies escape our lips.
The action heroes and toy race cars
collect dust in the attic.
We work our jobs
and fantasize about play
dwell on missed opportunities
things we should have said.
We recast ourselves as action heroes,
shift our station wagons
pedal to the floor
as though gunning for the pole position.
Alone in our cars
our small 4-cylinder engine is a powerhouse
makes the noises we always dreamed it would.
We hum to ourselves while accelerating
match the pitch of the engine.
Adjusting the rear view mirror
we catch a glimpse of our children’s car seats
ease off the accelerator
no longer in hot pursuit
and go back to just
Christopher Clauss is an introvert, Ravenclaw, father, poet, photographer, and middle school science teacher. He has represented New Hampshire six times at the National Poetry Slam as a member of the Slam Free or Die poetry slam team. His work explores the bliss and turmoil of faith, parenting, marriage, and community in rural New Hampshire. His mother believes his poetry is “just wonderful.” Both of his daughters declare that he is the “best daddy they have,” and his pre-teen science students rave that he is “Fine, I guess. Whatever.”
(photo: Clark Hartman)