Under the Armour

Under the Armour
JCD Kerwin

It’s funny that
to forge ahead
you must discard
the bloodied, broken armour
you’ve been wearing ‘round for years.

(Some sanguine stains are yours;
some family’s;
and some pure stranger’s.)

In the end,
you walk alone
with brittle bones
and scars upon your feet.
But you know,
the briar patch
you crawled through
all your life
is miles behind.
Nothing but grassy knolls
for your wounded toes
ahead.

And it echoes in your head:
“With every step and
every breath: hold on.”
Hold on, hold on, hold on.
With every drip
of sweat and tear;
blood that poured from all those years:
hold on,
walk on,
through valleys beyond
the Dark cast out
from your shattered, burned insides.

(May 2015)