If I was Brave

If I was brave I’d have worked my passage on a cargo ship

If I was brave I’d have worked my passage on a cargo ship

to find Valladolid then on to Valparaiso.

At 16 I’d have left comfortable love

and sad parents, roughing it

with those who’d mock my innocence

and single child sense of fairness


If was brave I’d have dyed my beard mauve

worn tattered and outlandish clothes

and cared little for the opinions of others

or their dignity and propriety

shocking them with

my disregard and my bare behind


If I was brave I’d argue without consideration

as sure of my entitlement

as a polar bear in an Alaskan town

taunting locals with the content of their bins

demanding their vote

daring them to shoot me down


If I was brave I’d be less possessed

with the people I love

and the places where I find comfort

and act in the big picture.

I’m glad of the brave (whatever that is):

If I’m brave enough I’ll encourage them;

If I’m wise enough I’ll watch them

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