They were never handsome and often came
with a hormone imbalance manifested by corpulence,
a yodel of a voice or ears big as kidneys.
But each was brave. More than once a sidekick
has thrown himself in front of our hero in order
to receive the bullet or blow meant for that
perfect face and body.
Thankfully, heroes never die in movies and leave
the sidekick alone. He would not stand for it.
Gabby or Pat, Pancho or Andy remind us of a part
the dependent part that can never grow up,
the part that is painfully eager to please,
always wants a hug and never gets enough.
Who could sit in a darkened theatre, listen
to the organ music and watch the best
of ourselves lowered into the ground while
the rest stood up there, tears pouring off
that enormous nose.
- Ronald Koertge
Next week in my classroom, we're starting a yearlong journey exploring the heroes, heroines, goddesses, gods, villains, and monsters that populate the stories which shape our psyches, our cultures, and our world. So why not celebrate the sidekicks, too? Most of us, that's who we are.
If you enjoyed this poem, you might check out the other offerings over at Poetry 180 and Koertge's well-respected and often-edgy young adult novels, as well as his poetry collections.
If you've got a poem to share this weekend, why not offer it - or a link to its space on your blog or website - in the comments below. I'll visit, and others might too.
MFB, on the morning the varied thrushes returned to our little suburban oasis,