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0 Comments | Dec 05, 2018

Captain Ordinary

Khaki Man(a somewhat less than epic poem)


Captain Ordinary arrives,

as if from out of nowhere,

in those moments when something

unusual seems about to happen.


He is not summoned by the glow

of a signal in the sky, for that

would be extraordinary, not his thing at all.

Just a simple phone call or text message.


Nor does he swoop down from on high

or fly in, defying the laws of physics.

He arrives in a beige Prius

with a small dent on the front right bumper

and fast food wrappers crumpled in the backseat.


He does not crash through windows

or knock down front doors.

Captain Ordinary courteously rings the doorbell

and waits there, humming the last tune from the radio,

shifting his weight from one foot to the other.


“Yes,” says the woman, opening the door.

“I am Captain Ordinary, Defender of Banality,” he says

smiling broadly in his khakis and golf shirt.

“I was informed that something unusual

was taking place here this evening.”


“No, not really,” she replies.

“Just dinner … baked chicken, green beans.

Nothing out of the ordinary at all.

Probably just watch a movie afterward.

Thanks for stopping by.”

She moves to close the door.


“So,” he replies, leaning in,

respectful but curious.

“Nothing at all extraordinary?

No unexplained noises in the attic?

Strange animals in the yard?

Ah, perhaps your husband

is a bit later than normal getting home?”


“No, no,” she says, “six thirty,

right on time, same as always.”

“Ah well,” Captain Ordinary says.

“Sounds like a false alarm then.

Still, can’t be too cautious these days,

What with all the unusual things happening.”


The woman stands and stares,

Glancing over her shoulder impatiently.

“So good night then,” she says.

“Good night to you as well, ma’am,”

he replies with a smile.


“And remember,” he adds,

with a tap of his index finger to his forehead,

“the next time something extraordinary threatens,

don’t hesitate to call Captain Ordinary,

Crusader for the Quotidian.

Just use my toll-free number.”


“Sure…whatever,” the woman replies,

pushing the door closed and shaking her head

as Captain Ordinary climbs into his Prius,

waves one final time,

then backs carefully out of the driveway,

and makes his way down the street,

taking care not to exceed

the posted speed limit.



December 4, 2018

Brian Kenneth Swain

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