“The Corsage of Courage” by M.C. Lubow


It’s been a while since I wore a corsage.
How I loved the special feeling
that someone thought to honor me
with fragrant flowers.

Today I woke up crying.
Today I wear my courage
in a corsage on my chest.

I confront myself. I search within,
for multicolored petals of strength,
to face a Goliath, whose passion for deprivation,
seeks to conquer all my personal territory,
every inch of me.

Today I woke up crying.
Today I wear my corsage
of courage on my chest.

Shall I surrender yet again,
lacking resolve to stand on my own?
I enter my own garden at the home
I still love, because it is my shelter.
I diagramed all the sprinklers’ spray, observed
where holy water should be conserved.
I fired the gardener last week. He didn’t listen.

Today I woke up crying.
Today I wear my courage
in a corsage on my chest.

Am I listening to my own heartbeat,
or that of Goliath?
I tried to synchronize our rhythms
on Sunday,
but our breaths fall at different rates.

Today I woke up crying.
Today I wear my corsage
of courage on my chest.

M.C. Lubow

© 2010


  1. lkthayer · May 22, 2010

    Oh, Maxine…reading this brought tears to my eyes, even more powerful to see it on the page. Your words & journey are very profound. You are beginning something new, a peeling of layers, unearthing raw gold, that is you. Bravo!! Welcome to the Juice Bar, it is my pleasure to squeeze you! Thank you for your courage! – LK

    • mc · May 22, 2010


      Without your strong and powerful devotion
      to the work and our community, my voice
      would reach few I’m grateful to you for this squeeze.

  2. Roz Levine · May 22, 2010

    Dear Maxine,
    You’re now standing on the high wire ready to jump off without a net. How great it is to see the evolvement of your writing life.
    Keep on keeping on.

    • mc · May 22, 2010


      Rock of Ages, you are timeless in your vision of me…
      On the wire I am…ready to let go, with your strong support.

  3. alexis Rhone Fancher · May 22, 2010

    Your best work. A true breakthrough, Maxine. Brava!

    • mc · May 22, 2010


      Your daring has impacted me in unknown ways…
      thanks for the push.


  4. Angela Cohan · May 22, 2010

    Great work Maxine.

    Such a powerful and heartbreaking piece.

    I enjoyed it.

  5. vicki batkin · May 22, 2010

    keep on rollin’ maxine. can’t wait to hear the ‘new’ future. ox vicki

    • mc · May 24, 2010


      You bring Boca to “reality show” proportions…My many Boca
      trips are mute in comparison. Nora has nothing on you !


  6. Adesh Kaur · May 22, 2010

    love love love this poem. well done, maxine! thanks.

    • mc · May 24, 2010


      Thanks to you, Adesh, for your energetic enthusiam..
      and your scholarly nature !
      I am yearning to delight you !


  7. Candice Rosales · May 23, 2010

    Extraordinary work Maxine!

    • mc · May 24, 2010


      Thanks, Candice, for your comment !
      Your voice is missed..please email me the piece that
      made me laugh so much..


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