Creative Writing Sampler: Shane Polley (’12) Shares “The Courage of the Rain”

Shane Polley (’12) was born at a young age, close to his mother. He is an English/Spanish double major who enjoys watermelon, science fiction, and the steeplechase. He spent last January in Valencia, Spain, studying la lengua de amor amidst la grandeza de España. He spends most of his time asleep in bed when he is not reading, writing, running cross country and track, playing the drums, at church or working with junior highers. His room is a mess, but he seeks to find an area of controlled chaos that he can channel into some semblance of something sweet. All that is to say, Shane enjoys life and looks forward to what it may bring.

The Courage of the Rain


Picture it. Two twenty-one year old American males

awash on the streets of Spain, umbrellaless,

as rivers course from cloud to earth,

washing the world in wetness.

Foreign words on foreign signs

bring to their minds no hint of dry escape,

so they run.

Soaked slip-on shoes on cobblestones;

each footfall propels them onward,

toward something,

defiance of the rain.

Do you know the feeling of seeping shoes,

jeans soaked through they stick like spandex,

and windbreakers that only serve to keep the water in?

Like a public swimming pool in their clothes,

the only difference: no life guard on duty,

no one to keep them from

washing away

as they float, running toward direction.

In Valor they find hope, not in courage or bravery, but

in chocolate.

Amidst the slosh and slop they find a doorway,

opening on a two-tiered land of chocolate,

a dream, a haven of drip dry.

Thick cups of chocolate sit before them,

surrounded by Valor’s brand of churros,

golden brown and greasy, a doughy stick compliment

to the liquid of the cup.

They eat and drink,

dipping the bread in the chocolate,

a sort of intinction,

bringing together the watery world

with the warmth of courage’s name

in thanks for a way out of weather and

into a tasty discovery.

The rain continues to fall,

but those in Valor are

warm, content, and tolerably dry.

They find solace in the soluble as chocolate and churro

melt in mouth, a reminder that,

in each rain,

courage comes through chocolate.

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