He can't leap a skyscraper or carry a car.

He's not as strong as a freight train

or as fast as lightning.

But he would leap in front of you or stand by your side

to take piercing bullets and quench flaming arrows,

shielding you from danger until it's safe again.

His cape doesn't flow back and forth in the wind.

He wears no costume or colorful symbol.

You'll recognize his friendly smile

and soft hand on your shoulder.

He can lift crushing weights from your back,

help you bear burdens,

pull you out of collapsed,

smoldering wreckage.

He doesn't glide by clouds or soar past planets,

but he always seems to be around—

in the hallway, on a busy street,

wherever you might need him

to answer your call of distress.

He'll rescue you

from those who beat you up and shoot you down,

from suffocating deathtraps closing in on all sides

until he breaks in and carries you away.

He'll fight with them forever or however long it takes,

as long as he can maintain his mask—

because maybe if he keeps trying to rescue people

no one will notice he can't actually save anyone,

and maybe if he keeps fighting he'll forget

he can't even save himself

from clawing monsters and blackened skeletons

haunting him from the past,

and maybe if he tries hard enough

the world can still be saved,

so he'll put his mask back on and face the world again

and again

and again

because his battle will never be won

and a hero's work is never done.