Duty

Today, November 11, I was thinking about courage and how the people we celebrate as courageous often don’t think of themselves that way.

Duty

It wasn’t courage
but an ease
like being pulled
through strong current
not frightening
nor insistent
just certain.

We all got in the raft
all faced forward
water, fish, seaweed
leaves, twigs
flotsam
all going together
in one
unknown direction.

We disembarked
where the shore
lowered and flattened
a glacier had left
its ancient
perch for us
knowing we’d arrive
one day but not
who we’d be.

With our fine
smooth knees,
soft hair,
reliable hearts,
we climbed out the boat—
leapt, practically—
expectant, ready.
The cave ahead
yawning
coal-coated throat
of a dragon.

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