Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: " 'Til Legends Live"

This poem came out of the March 2015 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] shipwreck_light. It also fills the "indefatigable" square in my 12-17-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] lb_lee. It belongs to the Dr. Infanta and Granny Whammy threads of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem features discussion of trust and war trauma. If those are sensitive issues for you, consider your headspace before reading onward.


" 'Til Legends Live"


Granny Whammy could never quite pinpoint
when she'd come to trust Dr. Infanta.

Oh, not completely -- the girl
was still an assassin, after all,
and you could not turn your back
on her with candy on the table.

Yet she had her own peculiar sense
of honor, she didn't break her word,
and there were things she wouldn't do.

It had begun with a set of captured letters
back in the War, although Whammy Lass
hadn't known their provenance right away.

Later on there had been notes and hints
and occasional donations slipped in a box.

There had also been that time when
a bullet in the back might have meant
some nerve damage and a permanent limp,
except that Dr. Infanta had mysteriously appeared
to fix everything and then flittered away again.

Somewhere along the way, they had made ...
not quite peace, perhaps, being on opposite sides
of the cape, but an armistice that became
more comfortable over the years.

They were both living legends,
each in her own way, and they learned
how to deal with each other at need.

"Do you think dealing with supervillains
now and then makes me a bad superhera?"
Granny Whammy asked over ice cream.

"We're like duct tape, you know?"
Dr. Infanta said philosophically.
"A light side and a dark side,
holding everything together."

There were times when the past
got the better of them both,
when Granny Whammy sat
and cried into her beer over
memories from the War
and after it, too.

Dr. Infanta confessed,
in a tiny voice, that she had
struck the spark for both
the first and the second
world wars -- because
conflict had been inevitable,
and a single war would have
wiped out civilization.

She'd seen the past and the futures,
with her wonderful and terrible gift.

"Sometimes I feel crushed
under a mountain of guilt,"
Granny Whammy admitted.
"Some days I think that
every soldier is damned,
one way or another. But on
the good days I look around
at the world we saved, and
think maybe that's worth it."

"There are times I wonder how the world
could survive without superpowers, hang on
'til legends live and take up the weight
of maintaining it," said Dr. Infanta.

"Unending fortitude
and indefatigable hope,"
Granny Whammy replied.
"It's much like the way people
build things without Super-Strength
or save lives without Healing.
Enough ordinary abilities
piled together add up to
extraordinary results."

"Amazing, isn't it?" Dr. Infanta said, and
snitched the last chocolate-covered pretzel.

Granny Whammy just chuckled
and opened a bag of freeze-dried
ice cream. "I think the thing I'm
the most grateful for is that life
has never ceased to surprise me."

"I'll drink to that," said Dr. Infanta, and
they clinked glasses of cloudberry soda.

* * *

Notes:

Trust exists in a complex matrix and develops through stages. As people get to know each other, they learn the areas in which someone is trustworthy or not. Understand how to build trust in a relationship.

Dr. Infanta is talking about a dynamic balance of good and evil. It is this awareness of balance, and a practical if not always easy cooperation, that allows Terramagne to make progress instead of devolving into civil war like some places. Okay, they still have the bottom-ten countries that suck for soups (and usually everyone else) but most of the planet is more sane and stable.

War trauma can do a lot of damage. It often causes PTSD, PDSD, survivor guilt, and other difficulties. Know how to cope with psychological trauma.

Cloudberries are tasty fruit that can be turned into syrup for making soda. T-America has a lot of more adventurous flavors in bottled soda, especially from artisan sources.
Tags: creative jam, cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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