On courage, etc

sometimes
what we call courage
is just hardheadedness
proved right
in hindsight

proved wrong, even,
many times
but rather than
pontificating
we choose
to retell stories
omitting that
which jars
in an otherwise
lyrical narrative

we choose
the right shades;
color our memories
sepia
to blank out
all red flags,
for every story
has to sound right
no song can
have notes
discordant

our re-colored memories
is all we have
to build the grand narratives –
we rationalize –
faced with stark reality

reality that seems allergic
to grand narratives

but that’s the thing
with stories
if you’re looking for
truth
you won’t find it in grand narratives
it will stay hidden
taking refuge in the unlikeliest places

in an accidental
false stroke of a brush
a blemish on a canvas;
in one or two discordant notes
sung by some unsung master
belligerently

like the courage
of someone who knows
there is no martyrdom
to follow …
who knows the odds
precisely
when she abondons
the comfort-zone

there in the dungeons
of anonymity
they sit
paying the price of courage
wordlessly
eluding our macroscopic
search for narratives

and we tell
and retell
stories, unheeded

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