He worked for Superior Dairy,
a large red S embroidered on his chest
just above his name that I knew
couldn’t be true.
Bottles clinked as he climbed the steps.
A tip of the hat and a wink,
his secret safe as planets,
their silent loneliness
ellipsing through my childhood.
Before school he arrived,
the wooden porch creaking,
betraying his presence.
I flew to the door.
Behind the curtain lace I watched
him leave an extra cream
Mom poured over strawberries,
her lips taking in the fruit like sin.
Some days he lingered in the truck,
perhaps taking stock, our curtain lace
remaining open, Mom’s smile
red as strawberries
and deadly as Kryptonite.
One day Superman vanished along with the truck.
Pissed, Dad drove to the A&P.
What’s becoming of this world? he said
to me along for the ride in the front seat.
Looking out the window, searching
the autumn sky, I sat and wondered.
Across cracked concrete sidewalks
faded red leaves scudded,
their potential for flight
something in which I no longer believed.