A Small Act of Courage

Johnny was an average boy as far as people knew.
He did the things that any growing boy was known to do.
But this day would be special when he met the other boys.
No longer would he waste his time to play with childish toys.

The time had come to prove his worth and show what he could do.
Challenges would place his courage plainly into view.
Every task that they would choose, he would win the roughest.
And when they chose to wrestle, he would be the toughest.

As sure as there are stars above and robins’ eggs are blue.
There wouldn’t be a single thing that Johnny couldn’t do.
But there was yet just one unmet, the toughest of them all.
It would happen at the dance held at the local hall.

Boys and girls would all attend to flirt with one another.
Girls sat at the one end and the boys sat on the other.
Susie Jones would be there, and she soon caught Johnny’s eye.
Her natural beauty was a facet no one could deny.

When the band began to play, Johnny jumped up on his feet.
This would be the challenge that would make his day complete.
There simply was no way that he could let that moment pass.
Although, he had to stop halfway to pass a little gas.

Susie sat there smiling as she gave a playful glance.
Johnny was so nervous that he almost wet his pants.
With sweaty palms and shaky knees, his head began to float.
He could barely speak because his heart was in his throat.

Johnny knew that this would be his one and only chance.
So, he mustered up the nerve to simply ask Susie to dance.
Her answer would be obvious as most of you would guess.
Susie gently took his hand, and so demurely, she said “yes.”

“Hurray for Johnny!” yelled the boys so joyously they quipped!
But Johnny quickly realized that he had just been whipped.

About this poem

I think that most guys could relate to this poem. I know how nervous I was the first time I asked a girl to dance. I thought I would pass out. The fear of rejection is a tough row to hoe. It does get easier though. When I found out that girls liked guys who could dance, I was on a mission from that point forward.

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Written on November 09, 2023

Submitted by npirandy on April 08, 2024

1:51 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 1,785
Words 371
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 2

Randy West

I'm 76 years old and a combat veteran from Vietnam. I used to compose poetry while on ambush patrol as a way of staying awake on watch, since falling asleep could be hazardous to my health. I started early in life though, because, as a child, I would write little tidbits to my mom for the heck of it. more…

All Randy West poems | Randy West Books

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Discuss the poem A Small Act of Courage with the community...

  • Vixility
    A sucker for meter and rhymed poetry, I’ve been a long time fan of your works and the topics you choose.

    Yep, I was among those horrified to ask a girl out; and yes, it got easier as time passed.

    That’s funny: the line your wife hated was the one that had me openly chuckle.
    LikeReply9 days ago
    • Vixility
      Incidentally, this poem was among my pinned …
      LikeReply9 days ago
    • npirandy
      Thanks John, but the competition was just too stiff for my effort.
      Incidentally, it would be nice to know how many times we get pinned because I got bupkus in votes.
      LikeReply9 days ago
  • Symmetry60
    Holy hell! This is a like a biography of my youth but for the fact that her name was Christine. I was always horrified to dance fast throughout my school years. I would only dance slow. I'd seen my white bread friends dance fast and it looked so awkward and unappealing that there was NO WAY I was going to look that cornbread cracker. So many dances with Christine in High School. She made the mistake of mentioning the hickey she'd given me at a dance that I'd forgotten about until her reminder at a class of 81 cookout. If you know anything about me, you also know that was the topic of discussion for all every time someone new rolled up on me. Poor Christine was SO embarrassed. I told her, YOU are the one who brought it back to MY attention. Everyone with ears heard that story that day. Man did I love that girl. Also, as God as my witness, the only time I was ever beaten wrestling in gym class was when my uncle, the gym teacher, made me wrestle two guys back-to-back. I was so tired from whooping Mark Twomey that I let Danny Gleason have his way with me. Apparently, good, ole Uncle Leo had gotten tired of me beating everyone and thought I needed to be humbled. I love this poem, man. Brought me straight back if ya hadn't noticed. LOL! 
    LikeReply10 days ago
    • npirandy
      This poem refers to a period early on that demonstrated the fear of rejection that terrorized young teens. But I learned early on that girls loved guys who could dance. Since I loved girls, I went on a mission to "be all I could be" by learning how to dance. I became the Gene Kelly of the dance floor. The girls came to me to ask me to dance! Boy I miss those days! Now I can barely walk.
      By the way, my wife hated the poem, especially the part about stopping to pass gas. She's a good woman, but an ivory princess who wouldn't say "shit" if she had a mouthful. She said, "Well I guess it's a guy thing". Duhhh!
      Oh well, on to the next contest.
      Good job this month My Brother!
      LikeReply 110 days ago
    • Symmetry60
      I told Kaytee this some time ago and that for as terrified as I was to dance fast in school, I was DRAGGED onto a dance floor when I was old enough to go to clubs by a woman who lived in my hometown, Debbie Labatte, who MADE ME DANCE FAST! I was horrified, but she literally dragged my ass onto the floor. It was a club in Methuen Massachusetts that I cannot remember the name of right now. Surprisingly, I was pretty good as Debbie kept pointing out. *nudge nudge wink wink* I think she had more in mind than dance. LOL! I could probably dance because I'd been a drummer for 20 years and had good natural rhythm. From that night on I went on a tangent for years dancing my ass off. At a club in Hampton New Hampshire, called Demitiri's, me and a woman won a dance contest. Dancers in the club chose the top 3 each week. At the end of the summer those couples could go back for a dance-off to win $$$. I never went back because the woman was a one-off that I didn't know. I learned to dance quite well over the years and had many a fun time with the ladies who, as you said, love men who can dance. I miss the club life, but sort of don't either -- too much drinking and drugs. It's fun to reflect back to those days though. We had SO much fun. 
      LikeReply10 days ago
    • npirandy
      Why is it you always have better stories than I. Especially when I probably have at least 25 years on you. I always thought that I had led an eventful life.
      LikeReply9 days ago
    • Symmetry60
      My life is so boring now that it's leveled out for sure. I'm a walking snooze fest. Not complaining mind you. It's by design. I prefer silence these days. I'm sure your life's been more eventful than mine. LoL 
      LikeReply9 days ago
    • npirandy
      Yup. Silence is golden.
      I heard that somewhere.
      LikeReply9 days ago
  • susan.brumel
    Love this, Randy! Put a great big smile on my face. Bravo for Johnny and bravo for you!
    LikeReply 21 month ago


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"A Small Act of Courage" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 May 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/184981/a-small-act-of-courage>.

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