Is That What Bravery Is? – A Poem

Someone called me brave today.

I said thank you and turned to silence,

unsure of why that word upset me.

There is nothing brave about chemo,

about this journey that I am on.

Is it brave to walk within a fog

that was once my mind,

letting it lead me into the labyrinth?

Is it bravery to lose control over my body,

to know it less than I did before,

even I glance at myself in the mirror?

The mirror is my entryway to the maze

that my body has become, and I try to look

in my eyes, but my reflection seems to mock me.

Is that what bravery is? I venture further,

knowing that even now, there is a battle

that rages inside of me that I have nothing

to do with and no control over. I like to

picture a small army running around

underneath my skin and destroying

that which keeps me safe. I don’t feel

brave. To me, bravery means facing something,

tackling a monster head on, knowing

that it could mean your end.

All I have to do is stand here,

watching in the dark as my body

falls apart around me. Is that what bravery is?

Or is it the act of putting my body

back together again, knowing that there are pieces missing?

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