Soldier on

I’ll put on my brave face

And you shall don yours

And between us

The truth lies over and over as if nothing else matters

But maintaining

The lie

That is bravery honoured

And fear denied

*Let me be clear – bravery, is not always the stoic face of the trained warrior

It is also

If not more so

The trembling knees and sweating palms of the slight young flag bearer in the lead

Who marches

Toward certain death

A vision of his family and a prayer upon his breath

Bravery is raw and honest and messy.

Bravery is overcoming and stumbling and falling but continuing

Bravery is not always what we have been told

Bravery is the journey towards something, through difficulty.

Fraught with nerves and tension and terror

Bravery sometimes breaks minds

And hearts

The heroic, stoic face belies the humanity lost

The actual cost

Of maintaining the facade

Self discipline in times of danger is required

But sometimes a slip of the mask can allow others to take theirs off as well

Don’t put on your “brave” face when having a cup of coffee with a friend

They may feel compelled to don theirs

And then

Neither can be helped through the uncertain times in which we are living

There is a time for brave faces

And a time for authenticity

Show me your fear

Then

Together we will keep going

Bravely

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