Pluck

Let me write my way to courage….

The type of courage that lets a man stand up after being knocked down seven times,

that lets him throw one more punch, though his arms burn like lobsters dumped in scalding water;

that lets him say “I will not be beaten,” and mean it, even if he loses.

That lets him look up at the fading stars, the trees, black-needled in lamplight—

the sunset, and the crows with their shadowy flight;

and lets him see their beauty without fear of dying.

The type of courage that lets a man

love with a heart that’s been slain a thousand times;

that’s been struck by Cupid’s arrows till it broke

and sliced in two by the steely crescent of a smile,

torn asunder in the cataclysm of a lonely night

by blind eyes and curled lips.

How is it that he always rises?

Once more from the tar-pit of heartbreak,

like a humbled titan climbing up from Tartarus.

Maybe I’ll write my way to thin air, and hang there for a while.

The view is something else—

it’s always been; it’s just much clearer when the ground is gone.

Just over the edge of madness, you can see both halves of a sunset;

Feel life and death simultaneously. Now that’s courage.

When you taste your own gall, in its bitter sweetness,

you can’t help but admire the laughing crow.

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