Barnacle Bill





Seventy years after Popeye
Squeezed a can of spinach 
Into my comic book life,
Barnacle Bill,
Olive Oyl's other suitor,
Knocked on my door in the midst of a dream.
Despite a slight unease 
At the late hour,
I opened the door impulsively, 
Thinking it might be the painter, 
Come to repaint my room.
But there, indeed, filling the door frame
Was Barnacle Bill,
Just as big, but not as menacing
As I recall him being.
He asked, wistfully, if I remembered him.
How sensitive, I thought.
How vulnerable.
But not waiting for his menacing side to return,
I hit the reality switch,
Which, by law, every dream is required to have,
And woke up, gratefully.