When Do You Feel Most Brave

And if I don't? 
bravery has been replaced
by survival
is it brave
to hold myself together
to walk this road
from life to death
to hold the hand
of one who is leaving
to look her in the eye
and know the end
it's all about time
letting go
while holding on
wanting to scream
but saying I love you
is it brave
to stay
when I want to run
to keep loving
when the embrace is cold
to stay
when I can no longer connect
I don't seem to have space
in my being to hold
all this grief and love
at the same time
something has to go
and it's the adoration 
of my husband
it's not fair to him
but I am just holding on
hands clawing at the edges
of this deep crevasse
while the river of life
rages below
if I surrender
is brave 
the response to terror
is brave
the refusal to let go
I don't feel brave
I feel the cracking
of my very soul
and there's nothing to do
but hang on
and wait

Photo credit: Jason Williard (1983-2016)

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