List as many heroic people as you can in 2 minutes. Heroic can be your mom or Wonder Woman or anyone in between.
List as many tragedies as you can in 2 minutes. These might be the large losses such as the death of a loved one, an abuse you’ve personally suffered, or a group trauma like 9/11. But, this might also be those small, trivial tragedies that comprise daily life: losing your favorite pin, opening the fridge to get yesterday’s leftover Chinese food only to discover your roommate has eaten it, or accidentally kicking over the kitty litter.
Now let’s look at what makes your heroes… uh, heroic. What specific qualities, skills, or abilities do they have?
Let’s reexamine those tragedies: what qualities, skills, or abilities did you need to survive them?
Got it? Good. Write a poem that explains how you or your hero earned their merit badges in tragedy. This might be a list poem. A prose poem French-kissing microfiction. Maybe you earned your merit badge in dead dads, like me. Or in dead dog, like me. Maybe you earned more than merit badge. Maybe it wasn’t an event, but a skill. Maybe you’ve earned one in moving on. Or in “Hiding a stash of eggrolls in the crisper.”
It might be anything. You decide.