Imagine your child is chosen to be a hero
how proud you would feel, how special;
how the thought would steal, overwhelm
all of yours, become every moment, a pulse,
a rhythm, a repeat, a roll of drums, a clarion
of wild horses drumming; imagine the glories,
the triumphs coming to your child, the parades,
the feasts, the love and reward of love returned.

Until your thoughts turn to the unavoidable cost of being a hero;
limbs lost, loves lost, friends lost, treasures lost, the rest lost,
and your heart turns to dust, the taste of heroics suddenly sour;
now, you don’t want your child to be a hero, he’s too young,
he’s too small, he’s been sick lately; he’s afraid; I’m afraid.

There is no answer, no explanation—he’s a hero.
You have to accept it, be defined and explained by it.
You are in a new world now, there is a map in a cave
guarded by a magic dragon whose skin is gold and breath is flame;
assemble the bravest men you know, sail for many perilous nights—

be a hero, lead heroes, raise mead in the hall of heroes;
garland your head with laurel, sing the song of your name
as you burn like a torch through the night; sing, heroes have
no choice, they are destined and must set themselves on
the road to battle, so there will be songs of victory, and tragedy.

To have your child chosen as a hero is an honour;
the price of tears becomes real the moment they are shed.