What Is Courage?… (Poems In A Pandemic #8)

What if we have courage all wrong? Yes, the word “courage” means to know and follow our heart. But what if that path leads through fearsome territories we would just as soon not enter? Here’s a short piece that tells the ragged, rough, and often paradoxical truth about courage.

At The Heart Of Courage

Courage is not the great ship,
plowing through miles of ocean.
It is the old dented and leaky scow
barely making one wave at a time.

Courage is not the brave warrior,
trained and practiced for any assault.
It is the frail quivering voice standing
up to say what no one else will say.

Courage is not the gnarled and mighty oak,
dwarfing distant clouds and mountains alike.
Courage is a desert dandelion, its waterless
blooming as shaky as right in a sea of wrong.

Courage is not the surety of winning,
not the tide that turns and grows certain.
Courage is the dogged tilt toward hope,
even after all reason and proof have retreated.

Courage is not an impenetrable line of strong
and sure-footed soldiers marching in mass.
Courage is simply the ragtag rousing of one
fragile heart tenderly reaching for another.

© Dale Biron
April 2020


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