Vinyl covered wooden box
filled with comics books

Over the years they got all torn up
like the mice got in and tore them up

But you can read them, if you don't mind
reading two pages (at most) at one time

Fragments of stories that begin and end
smack dab, right in the middle of a story

Wonder Woman, deflecting bullets
and rescuing tied-up army guys

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit "sets hand"
in the golliwog-guarded underground kooky paradise

Where fountains of strawberry milkshakes erupt
and rubber-hose mice dance on piano keys

A cape-wearing Do-Gooder flies through the air
beginning an era of commercial flight

Fight off cosmic villains and Space-Rumpelstiltskins
and make the world safe for the American Flag

Some pages aren't even pages at all
just a shred with two pictures, or only one picture

Or just half a picture, a leg in a boot
a chicken looking goofy, an orange-clad hero

A hand with a grenade, a dressed-up weasel
a woman's face with her hand over her mouth

A detective with a gun, a prince on a horse
a grinning alligator up to no good

Bulbous automobile, dancing frogs
chubby girls with yellow curls, ham radio operators

They say that old comic books are worth lots of money
but only if never mutilated by children

So go ahead, and enjoy the confetti
that tells stories for nothing in a heap of flakes

like a paper kaleidoscope that busts up stories
and provides a fun compost of pictures and words

Unburdened by value, a plaything once more
and return to pulp from whence it came

Brian Dewan 2003