There’s an old song

that goes something along

the lines about being a hero,

and you’re not supposed to be aware of it.


I suppose that would be true of everyone.


I know your life wasn’t perfect,

who’s is?

But if everyone followed your example,

what then?


Sure, you’ve got the right,

but why?

It was rather selfish of you.


What kind of hero jumps ship?


Hell, you had it all –

money, success,

all the material needs.


You were at the top of your game!


But, I guess there were also the secrets.

Secrets, that no one will know.


And now, an amazing thing happens!


I’m sitting on my deck and it’s late at night,

with a scotch

– in your memory –

in late Autumn,

     a grey fox appears!


He approaches up steps, and stops

near the flower box,

and peers at me.


     Such sly eyes!


We both watch one another,



     no sound.


Neither know the dark hidden thoughts.


Then, he slinks back and off

     and disappears.






[revised 04 March 2012]

©Marvin Loyd Welborn 2011


  1. My hero doesn’t know that I have him on my personal pedistal and wouldn’t feel comfortable if he did know. I think that once someone considers themselves to be more righteous than another, their status becomes tarnished beyond repair. Ego steps up to grab the glory. Just my thoughts.

    Love the showdown with the fox. No fear. He met his equal and left knowing that he couldn’t win.

    Thanks for the morning food for thought. Much enjoyed.

  2. A hero comes about because of an opportunity that presents an occasion. Most times by a stroke of luck. But a hero is a hero. The fox may have found its match and backed off though!


  3. oh i love that you made it all so visual with the encounter of the fox..underlining the abstract parts of heroism – yeah there are heroes in my life but they wouldn’t think of them as heroes – it’s those that do a lot of good things silently without shouting it into the world… thanks for this for thought you gave us here… just having a candlelight breakfast with my daughter before she leaves for university and i for work…and that was just the perfect read to go with it

  4. I really enjoyed this piece, Marvin… especially the first three lines and the symbolism of the fox at the end. To me a hero is someone who is humble, too.

  5. Heros come in different shapes…perhaps your fox was a hero somewhere?

    Enjoyed this poem. Layered…as the best poems are.

    Lady Nyo

  6. magical. a fox interacting as such is a gift and maybe an answer to those thoughts. is the hero the fox or that which coordinated the meeting? probably doesn’t matter.

  7. I love this. I love it because of the ending. It was very shamanic. The body was well, sad … but the cleared it all up so very well. But I am confused … this blog was different yesterday. It had a beautiful photo at the top … didn’t it?

  8. Oh … I wanted to thank you too for your very nice comments upon my poem … thank you. I guess I got befuddled because I remember your poem Stealth, but not the way the blog looks.

  9. I like this one, but it seems strange that you’d use an exclamation mark (!) after the word “stealthy”. That makes me think you mean the opposite of stealthy. Yes?

    • very good point! or question. thanks for asking.
      this is a poem about suicide.
      the speaker is confused as to ‘why’ the 2nd person killed himself.
      he’s also upset about it.
      especially since the 2nd person has ‘arrived’ in Life via achievement & successfulness.
      another ‘Richard Cory’, if you will.
      the fox is a sign.
      and, there are many questions in signs — and there are as many interpretations, if not more.
      for the speaker, it’s a sign of acknowledgement & reconfirms the existence of secrets — slyness, deception, enigma.
      no one gets all his questions answered completely (some maybe, maybe not) in Life. Life is secretive and just is what it is.
      stealthy is Life and the suicide of the 2nd person.

  10. The heroes of the 21st Century [and the last half of the 20th] were the sewer plant operators. They kept things running while everyone looked for heroes, saluted the veterans, flags, patriots and politicians.

    I’m probably going to commit blog-suicide by posting a Veterans Day salute to sewer plant operaters as the only veterans worth tipping our hats to and an explanation why.


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