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Courage, Dear Heart {a poem story}

by Kellyn Roth |
August 28, 2019

Hello readers! I don’t usually do this on Reveries, but I just finished this poem – Courage, Dear Heart – and I decided I needed to share it with someone.

It’s a bit different than most poetry. You see, it tells a story … and shares a message … and is based loosely off a novel I’m working on (Wind Against the Cliffs – and now, I haven’t shared about it yet!).

I hope you’ll enjoy this piece which shares some thoughts about God remaining with us throughout our biggest trials as well as a woman’s growth into experiencing His presence in her life. ?

Without further ado …

Courage, Dear Heart


I’m just a little thing

Saddle shoes and Sunday best

So thrilled they chose me to sing

Somehow better than the rest

Knowing other girls would love

To be in my place, but I fear

I’ll only be made a fool of

The pressures of the crowd, the stares.

I feel about to lose control,

My own mind tears me apart,

But a voice whispers in my soul,

“Courage, Dear Heart.”


He’s so tall, and handsome, too;

I can’t believe he wanted me.

Tonight I have so much to prove,

To show the world what I can be.

He’s not the most popular boy in school,

But I’m not afraid to be seen with him.

What if his religion breaks the rules?

I’m sure not dating on a whim.

My parents never will approve

An Irishman and an upstart.

And when the doubts begin anew—

“Courage, Dear Heart.”


“You won’t marry a Catholic, dear.”

I want to plug my ears and cry.

“We won’t have his kind anywhere near.”

But to leave him I’d have to die.

I look to him, and know he’d leave

To give me the life he thinks I deserve.

Yet something tells me to cling and cleave,

And I hate them for every word.

I never loved them anyhow.

I’ll lose my family … in part,

For he is my family now.

“Courage, Dear Heart.”


Delivery room, and I’d rather die

Than lie here on this cold bed,

And grip the nurse’s hand and cry

And feel about as good as dead.

But to have a child of my own,

I know what can be overcame.

I fight into the unknown,

And push through the pain.

“Just breathe, and it’ll be over soon.”

The pain shoots through me like a dart

Though my screams fill the room,

“Courage, Dear Heart.”


“Tell me you’ll be home someday.”

I make my voice so brave and firm

And hold my smile in its place

Though my insides begin to squirm.

Brave for children, brave for him,

Brave for all my country, too,

My heart has so much fear therein.

He crushes me in Navy blue.

And then he’s on the train. I call,

“Don’t be a hero; try to be smart.”

He waves until the train grows small.

“Courage, Dear Heart.”


I only asked to be his wife.

I hug the folded flag and cry.

I never asked for all this strife,

I never asked for him to die.

How could God take him from me?

I need him more than words can say.

Lost to the depths of the sea,

And I’m to live on day to day?

I’d rather curse our enemies

And die than learn to live apart.

I’ve lost him for eternity.

Still—“Courage, Dear Heart.”


There’s no comfort left to find,

And I don’t know how to survive.

My own voice echoes in my mind,

An endless stream of, “Why, why, why?”

Yet a soft voice in my soul

Tells me there is so much hope,

And nothing on this earth is whole,

But there’s another way to cope.

In the storm, I’m found and held,

And offered up a brand new start.

Though sometimes pain cannot be quelled,

Still, it’s there: “Courage, Dear Heart.”


~Kellyn Roth~


Can you guess what the story behind the poem is? Can you pick up anything about the woman the poem is written about? Any ideas as to what the story might be about? ?? ALSO … would you like seeing this kind of thing on Reveries again? What are your thoughts on poems that tell stories, even if they’re kinda abstract?


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13 Responses

  1. Oh my heart KELLYN!! I need this book now pretty please!! I was not ready for that! And yes, I love abstract story poems…kinda like a country song. *hopes you like country cause that was a compliment* We don’t have to know the full story to be swept into their world and feel for them…but can we have the full story now??

    1. THANK YOU! Yes, that is a compliment. I love country music. 😉 Exactly! I feel the same about a lot of lyrics.

      Full storrrryy … well, I’m working on it. After I get through the rest of Alice and Ivy (e.g. four books – but just minor edits on At Her Fingertips and Beyond Her Calling and a bit more work on TDS and a bit more work on IvIn), it’ll be my next project! 😀

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