Everyday Shirts

But what is this courage?

It does not look like a parade

Or a medal

Certificate

Citation

Award

It is back bowed

Defiant chin

Arms wrung out

From holding it in

It vomits

It shakes

It looks deep inside

To find what it takes

It is not valour and victory

Laurel wreathes wilting under hot sunlight

Posterity keepsakes

Nor politicians speaking

Of the good deeds we did

It is dirty

And broken

Softly spoken

If spoken of at all

Stare away into the distance

Recalling

Reflection

The recollection

That once or twice

Inside

you went past

Everything you knew how

And just kept going

One foot

Following another

Until you won through

To the other side

Of you

A you

You never knew existed

It is wonder

It is awe

It is humble

A small voice

That you hear above the roar

Of all that is normal

Whispering

You’ve got this

Then it is gone

And you must go on

Put your faith in the memory

The echo

Of that higher one

Who spoke

Broke

The mould of who you thought you were

And created someone different

You but more than the you

Who lives in this head

You are more than you

Is what courage said

And the memory lingers

Presses light fingers

Up the spine

Touching vertebrae

Pushing them into line

Stiffening

Strengthening

What no one sees

through the shirt that you everyday wear

They cannot see

But it is there

And it is called

Courage

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