Before you know what courage really is,

you must first know fear,

feel the icy whisper of dread scrape its talons down your spine

like pages of your childhood books being shredded one by one.

Before you learn the power of courage,

you must float alone at the edge of the earth,

with nothing

to keep you from tumbling but a single red balloon with a needle poised above it,

the only sound the

tick tick

tick tick

of the clock

reminding you of how little time you have left.

Before you know courage as the most important thing,

you must wake up blind in an unfamiliar place with fear oozing out of your pores,

filling the room until you can no longer remember what it was like

to not breath in fear with every desperate gasp.

Then it is only courage that makes sense anymore,

only courage keeping you from wasting precious seconds

clutching a balloon at the edge of the world,  

only courage that crawls out of the cobwebs and slips into your pocket

and radiates light.