. Our Superman Porfirio Landa (1925–2022), one of the United States Army’s longest surviving World War II veterans The modest glory of this veteran Began when he was born a Mexican, Baptized before the State declared grim war On Catholic faith Cristeros battled for. Church doors were locked next time his loyal mother Gave birth, as Féderáles tried to smother The spirit of the bravest in the nation. Thank God, America arranged cessation Of irreligion’s hellish horrors then! A boy could grow in gladness genuine, Learn from his parents, and his pastor, too, Receive the sacraments, find jobs to do, The smallest ones that helped his family through Hard times, still harder after Mama died. Man’s work came early. Plans intensified For border crossing. There he was advised, “America has need of energized Young volunteers to win a war abroad.” “I’m good to go!” Porfirio hurrahed. Latino teen in Army green, he trained To risk his life for a homeland to be gained. Assigned to watch and wait at a stateside base, He dreamed of duty as a flying ace. Discharged with honor, and with seventy-seven Years left to serve his God and aim for heaven, He married his belovéd Ernestine. The number of their children is thirteen: Teri, Porfi, Chata, Cesar, Ray, Donny, Chela, George, Lupe, Jaime, Lydia, Angelica, and Ben. To raise them able women and fit men, He earned his pay as metal polisher, Employed hand tools or whirring chamferer, With lively cheer and friendliness for all. At movies, grocery store, or hospital, He’d strike up eager chat or comic song, Though he never got the lyrics right for long. Drama was better: he could stage his own. Soaring from some fake booth without a phone (After taking off his Clark Kent glasses), Our Superman flew choreographed passes For justice, truth, and the American way. Or if a jungle gym had ropes, he’d sway As Tarzan with child monkeys to a tree, And every day he’d pray the Rosary. “Porfírio António Lánda Sántos Coy Is who I am; my good name’s not a toy. Know yours, grandchildren, keep it clean and true. This holy heritage I leave to you.” . Poet's Note: In the Cristero War (1926–1929), federal troops brutally enforced a new constitution meant to eliminate Catholic Church influence in Mexico. Opposing Cristeros were popular insurgents who undertook armed resistance in many regions of the country. Neither side won victory, but the United States brokered a cease fire, and churches re-opened, allowing Catholic practice to go on as before. “Truth, justice, and the American way” is the motto of the old Superman television series. The full name Porfirio Antonio Landa Santos Coy comes from given names followed by the surnames of father and mother, Teofilo Landa and Teresa Santos Coy. . . Margaret Coats lives in California. She holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University. She has retired from a career of teaching literature, languages, and writing that included considerable work in homeschooling for her own family and others.