To Be Brave

To be brave is to NOT hit the snooze button

To climb out of bed on an icy winter morning

And brave the bathroom

And the wardrobe

And the kitchen

And the road outside


To be brave is to look a stranger

Or a lover

Or a friend

In the eye

And say no


To be brave is to know the spider

Scares the wits out of you

And yet to laugh

As though

It was never there


To be brave is to be soaked to the bone

And shivering and frozen

With your heart in your throat

The blood pounding in your ears

And still

To take the arrow in the chest


To be brave is to hear madness

And to see madness

And to have it rip into

Your little heart

And to forgive yourself

For being helpless


To be brave is to not know

To not understand

To have a hundred thousand questions

Choking up your dinner

And to take a deep breath

And accept

There may never be

One right answer


To be brave is to smile

At the full moon when everything you ever knew

Falls apart

To be gentle with the innocence of children

And animals

To keep silence in the face of the ignorant

To plod on when your legs give way

And your knees are too bruised to crawl

To give heart when you have no heart left to give


To be brave is to live

With your head held high

To lift your wings against the storm

And rise, though you do not know the way.