Courage II (Or: What the Lady M can teach us on Shakespeare’s birthday)

“But screw your courage
To the sticking place”, she said,
And I think of my fear as
Something you can embed –
A small, innocuous wooden peg.
Of my grief as a
Finely tuned thing, a string
Instrument, where each
Memory is stretched
Clear and fixed
At its appointed pitch
Across a body delicately
Calibrated, the mind a sturdy
Soundpost, designated
Survivor, carved with incisions
That each anxiety may breathe
And all, in resonated precision
Hum in its wake
And I take
My fate in my hands
Like a bow on the wing,
And courage is the song
That the strung heart sings.

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