A salute to the brave people

There they go
The brave people
Whom you and I see every day
We don’t know the extent of their bravery
(Because many of them wear the concealing mask of a brave smile)

A senior hobbling at the supermarket
Post hip surgery, it’s her first day out and about
The nurse said
“You gotta get moving or you’ll get rusty.”
There she goes
Salute her as she hobbles on by

The young man with social anxiety
Dancing at a wedding
He danced like no one was watching
(Because they weren’t)
He’s winning
Salute him as he dances on by

The woman who finally puts on sneakers
It’s been a long, morose winter
And she’s finally emerging,
Determined to breathe, stretch, grow
And feel her best
Salute her as she strides on by

The student who sits late hours with her tutor
Others have gone to bed
But not this young lady
She will press on – for another hour
Fueled by her teacher’s unwavering belief in her
Salute her as she climbs the stairs for bed

The little engine that could
Becomes the big locomotive that can
Powered by the cheering of encouraging folk
And the warmth of kind souls

Look to your left and right
See the brave heroes who show up for life
Salute them as they hobble, dance, and stride by
Look carefully
They are everywhere (even – especially – in the mirror)

About the Author
Chana holds an M.S. in Special Education. Her innovative poems, essays and lectures reflect two and a half decades of experience working with students of all ages and abilities. Chana's writing has been published on, as well as in The Canadian Jewish News, The Jewish Press, and AMI. As a longtime volunteer with the Friendship Circle, Chana was recognised by the Ontario Legislature for “bringing a smile to the faces of children with special needs.” Although Chana 's "heart is in the east" she currently lives with her with her family in Toronto.
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