Two Poems by Marjorie Maddox

Marvel Comics artists make Anthony Smith, 5, an honorary Avenger
                                            -CNN, Updated February 26, 2013

Better than any honorary Ph.D,
this degree comes complete

with scrolled poster, anti-stigmatism kit,
and a real-time visit from Iron Man,

who, both Marvel-protected
and metal-enhanced,

bam-slams bullies far beyond
Daredevil’s “Know No Fear” blindness,

Xavier’s speedy wheelchair,
The Thing’s Mirror-averse face,

and even the Titanium Titan’s own heart’s
fragile disabilities.

O Anthony of the Blue Ear,
your strong heart opens ours

to hearing the human
we’ve tried redrawing

too many times in the dark
of our own image.

With your five-year-old glee,
we, too, might heed

Lee’s credo of responsibility.
as we don ordinary clothes for our

pale frame of graphic reality
splashed now with Living Color

by the otherworldly Flash
of your super, but-still-prone-

to-cavities, little-boy grin.


To a Penny from an Oncoming Train

Copper damsel in distress,
circle of the single cent,
abandoned and lonely,
who sacrificed you,
fastened you to the shine of my rails
with gum or spit?

You are a small
gleam in my dimmed headlights,
a swirl in my steam,
a spot to be swatted,
ironed out with my iron and steel.

Disguised as Lincoln,
you are no president
and cannot flee underground
until afterwards,
in a boy’s pocket, you lay flat,
hidden, a survivor,
amidst lint, and marbles,
and three kicking tree toads.


Professor of English at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 13 collections of poetry—most recently Begin with a Question (Paraclete, International Book Award Winner) and Heart Speaks, Is Spoken For (Shanti Arts), an ekphrastic collaboration with photographer Karen Elias—the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite); 4 children’s and YA books. In the Museum of My Daughter’s Mind, based on her daughter’s paintings ( is forthcoming in 2023 (Shanti Arts).

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