Midge Goldberg


Man of Steel

Lois is trapped by falling rocks? Go get her!
It’s simple what we want from Superman—
to save the world (at least make bad things better).
The feats that we wish we could do? He can.

And yet he mostly follows natural laws.
Each superpower is just human strength
compounded—carbon fused with iron, flaws
like any alloy. He’ll go to any length

to save the day, but he can’t disappear.
His X-rays? Foiled by elemental lead.
He doesn’t get the girl. Steeled but sincere,
our hero stutters on the phone instead.

We like him for how strong a man can be—
We love him for his flaws, ironically.

Midge Goldberg is the recipient of the 2016 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, as well as the 2015 Richard Wilbur Poetry Award for her book Snowman’s Code, named the 2016 New Hampshire Literary Awards Reader’s Choice for Outstanding Book of Poetry. Her poems have appeared in Measure, Light, and Appalachia, and on Garrison Keillor’s A Writer’s Almanac. Her other books include the poetry collection Flume Ride and the children’s book My Best Ever Grandpa. She is a longtime member of the Powow River Poets and has an M.F.A. from the University of New Hampshire. She lives in Chester, New Hampshire, with her family, two cats, and an ever-changing number of chickens.