A Poem by Dr. Barry Lubetkin
When I was a kid, I hungered for heroes. They would slay the bullies, Waiting outside, never in class, Stealing my lunch, my change. Where was Superman? Saving Gotham, dispatching Lex Luthor. Where was Batman? Wrecking a deranged Joker. Where was that muscled guy At the back of every comic book? He promised that for a mere quarter No beach bum would ever kick sand in my face. Where was Tony, the security cop? Who was always at lunch, and Blind to the crimes on his beat. I turned older. Bullies didn’t matter. I turned even older. Romance and work and family grounded me. I sent fear packing. Yet five years ago, an escalator carried a bully back into my life, who tore the nation apart. But mirable dictu! Three months ago, my bromance with an Everyday Joe made my soul sing. And I swear I hear the souls of millions singing songs of relief and joy and hope. So I love you, Joe. I love you, Joe — as I put my Ambien away and sleep soundly to your reassuring voice on the late night news. I love you, Joe— as I sense the anxiety lessen in all whom I counsel. I love you, Joe—as my unemployed friends pay down their strangling debt with the checks you fought for. I love you, Joe—as her sisters swell with pride watching Kamala sturdy at your side. I love you, Joe—as my foreign friends stop asking “What happened to America?” I love you, Joe—as you gently ask us to be patient, to wear masks, and to ready our arms for the liquid of life. I love you, Joe—for repairing families at the border and stretching Lady Liberty’s arms wider than ever. I love you Joe—for sharing your personal anguish and loss with us and making us feel that you really know us. I no longer need fantasy heroes or lazy guards to care for me. I have my Everyday Joe and I love him and I just know that Joe loves me.
This week, read The Insider's interview with Dr. Barry Lubetkin:
Healing Pandemic Hurt with Therapy and Poetry
Barry Lubetkin, Ph.D. is the co-director and co-founder of the Institute for Behavior Therapy in New York City. The Institute for Behavior Therapy is the oldest private cognitive behavior center in the United States.