Quake (or) The Peculiar Strength of Wavering

I wrote this poem for my dear friend Leigh, on the occasion of her graduating from seminary and thus ceasing to be our church intern (which I guess means we need to quit bossing her around). If you happen to watch the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, you might find this somewhat familiar. But hopefully you can catch the vibe regardless.

Quake (or) The Peculiar Strength of Wavering

Once there was a superhero
(But she didn’t know
She didn’t know she was a superhero)
One day she found out
The day her power made the whole room shake
And pieces of the ceiling fell
I heard her mutter what the hell
I really didn’t want to be a superhero

Here’s the thing: we do not always get
To choose our powers

Tentatively she began
Exploring her abilities
But she was very careful
(She was scared that she would hurt someone)
She worried that her wisdom
Wasn’t up to handling superpowers
She held back her awesome knack
And really didn’t think she was a superhero

Also: we don’t always get to choose
The way our powers are perceived

But slowly, and despite her caution
(No, despite’s not right)
Because of all her dedicated hesitation
Our brave hero learned that
She could crumble mountains
And could also match the soft vibration
Of a broken or exhausted heart
And help it start again

The thing it took her longest to perceive
Was how her gentle, shy uncertainty
Was like a second superpower
While in some alternative reality
Where she had rather been endowed
With rocklike self-assurance
(Plus the power to make earthquakes)
That might not have worked out well

Great power doesn’t always come
With great humility but
Things are always so much better
When, in point of fact, it does

She also had a tertiary superpower
That I haven’t mentioned yet
Which was: when called upon to do so
She could kick some major butt

But even this she always tendered
Sparingly, and with profound compassion

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