The Measure of A Man

Jonathan Aquino

By Jonathan Aquino


I.
Any fool can carry a weapon
and even a coward can kill.
I told the warrior as he rose,
drawing his sword as I sat still,
unmoved as death draws near.
II.
He told who he was and how dare I,
I did and there is no need, said I,
to say what I already knew, and he,
as he raised the blade, saw I wasn't afraid.
III.
My eyes, steady in gaze, are cystal-clear,
and he saw it, he whose weapon is fear.
Am I not afraid to die, he asked me.
And then I spoke, and he listened closely.
IV.
Death arrives as the dawn brings out the sun
and courage is to face it when it comes.
And yet the measure of a man is more than valor,
for it is empty without decency and honor.

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