These Are The Brave

By Edward L. Holmes II

What is the definition?
We are told, it’s the heart that’s bold, but
are we missing something bigger?
I sat up one night pondering the meaning 
wondering, receding
deeper into definitions
of a destination not obtained.

12 A.M. met my sleepless sight
perseverating over percolated liquid life 
that night.  Would the bottom of the red-eye
give me insight? Is it confidence, assuredness,
a man fearless enough to pass the test?
I digress,
wrestling with unrest over the concept of

Yet all I can conclude is that, even though we
are taught to believe that reckless abandon
goes hand in hand with what it means to be brave,
this is not at all what I’ve seen to be true.

It’s the young mind riddled with suicide inside
who tried life one more time today.
It’s the sexual assault survivor that still
holds onto the concept of love and purity.
It’s the single mother who provides
for the lives of her children in the midst of poverty.
It’s the father who stays,
the sister who prays,
beloved, these are the brave.

Mama Tried

Mama tried to cook each night
and never missed a meal.
We ate from plates she washed that day
until our guts were filled.

Mama tried to pay each bill
so we could have a place
where lights were running all year round,
where we could wash our face.

Mama tried to discipline
and never spare the rod
so we could grow to break the mold,
statistics, we were not.

Mama tried to educate
our young minds to be strong
enough to have discernment and
to know our right from wrong.

Mama tried protecting us
from choices that would steal
our innocence and confidence
that love was truly real.

The most important thing I learned
now seeing through her eyes:
I’d grow to be a better man
because I learned to try.

About the Author

Edward L Holmes

Edward L Holmes is an educator, motivator and poet with an evangelist’s tongue and a heart for hurting people. Native to the mid-west, he grew up just outside St. Louis, Missouri where he began to bud as a young writer. Edward is the founder of Acclivity Publishing, launching two poetry full-length books this year with no sign of losing steam. More about his books here.
Today he is passionate about producing consistent, quality poetry and non-fiction that motivates, uplifts and inspires. Follow Edward on Instagram: Bravery and Brevity by Edward Lee

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