There’s a struggle around my throat
like an umbilical cord never cut free,
the words don’t always help me breathe.
Sometimes they free me long enough
to muster up a gasp that says,
Yes, I am still here, but barely.
But that’s not good enough.
I’m digging down deep with the shovel
in my heart, searching for the treasure
of what’s hidden within me.
The words that heal me.
I keep finding the ones that hurt,
the ones that were buried from the
years of a past that keeps catching me.
I’m tired of running.
So I’m turning around to see
what the monsters look like
and why they didn’t just stay
under my bed from so long ago.
I’m still afraid of what their eyes look like
and the way their hands keep reaching
for the secrets I thought were safe.
Now I am stripped raw and I don’t like it.
Exposed from the vault I locked forever,
someone found the key…
I’m turning back around.
There’s a bandage in my safe words
and sometimes it saves me
for a little bit longer.
-Stephanie Bennett-Henry © 2016