Call me the black sheep, the could be,
the wanted to be but never was.
Name me the backdrop, the shadow,
the breakthrough that never did.
I was the nightlight that burned out,
looking like a spotlight that failed.
I tried to be the center but I got sidelined,
where I learned to cheer for settling.
Smiling for the second best lesson
that taught me what I was good for
and I learned it.. I’m still learning it…
by now I’m sure I earned it..
Because I worked hard to clean my plate,
swallow down the taste of the lesson
until not believing in myself tasted good.
It tasted as sweet as not having any
other taste to compare it to.
I chewed it like a habit until it became
a liquid diet of perfection that I never
knew how to spit out and it fills me.
I am engorged now in my growing
with the same emptiness I got from
all those years of trying to steal light
from your shadow and I’m sorry…
I only wanted to know what it felt like
to shine. I wanted to be golden for once,
not like silence, but like the sun.
I never was. But now, I couldn’t tell you
which one feels warmer. The silence
feels like a home I found in abandon
and I wear it like it could still save me.
Call me the lone wolf who never ran wild,
because I was in your shadow when I died.
~Stephanie Bennett-Henry © 2016