Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

If I Should Go

In case history does repeat itself, and I leave you before I can say goodbye, let this be the letter you hold like the hand of the one who would never leave your side. Let these words be the solace you seek when the world shows its ugly face.

Dear You,

If you’re reading this, you cannot see me anymore, but I am right here next to you holding your hand. I know how you feel right now, like nothing is fair, and you curse the sky as if it never was anything but empty. I can’t tell you what happens next or if time heals anything, but I can tell you that the world is still yours and you are in control of the path you choose. I hope you always take the one that moves forward, and forget about the one behind you, because it’s a trap. Remember you can’t change what has already happened, so don’t ever look back. That rear view mirror has a blind spot and sometimes it looks like memory lane, but there’s a dead end like quicksand waiting to pull you under. Look the other way. Hold your head up high, eyes focused on your dreams colored with those pieces of your heart you’ve yet to let anyone see. They’ll see soon enough. But when they do, hold on tight because I’m telling you now, it’s beautiful enough to crack away part of the sky, just to let the ocean have a taste. Remember what I always told you about other people and how it doesn’t matter what they think. It’s true. This isn’t their stage, so don’t ever give it to them. Look up at the sky tonight. See those stars? Did I ever tell you why they shine like they do? They are shining for you. Ever since you were born, everything turned brighter, like a million neon spotlights aimed right at you. The moon took one look at your heart and decided nothing could ever shine with a brilliance quite like that; I can still see the beauty in that light. This place is your stage. Don’t forget that. Remember that fear is only an illusion we make up ourselves, and we can destroy it just as easily as we invented it. Look at it straight in the eyes and just laugh. Tell it to go to hell. Whatever you have to do, but don’t let it make a home out of you. It may try to touch you at times, but fear only survives in the dark so if it touches you, it will burn up quickly because of that fire in your belly. You are the only one who can put out your own flames. If someone or something tries to tame the way you burn, just remember there’s no surrender in your spine, no white noise in the spaces between where you are and where you are going. There is no giving in rooted in your throat between the voice you have and the one still growing beneath your tongue. You have the blood of a warrior swimming through your veins, bones built from Vikings lying in wait, and a heart that can swallow the universe whole while offering it a home. It’s true what they say about falling down and standing up. Don’t ever stay down. Because every time you get back up after being knocked down, it makes stronger. It also makes you wiser. There’s so many lessons. Take your time to learn each one. Always remember who you are and where you came from, but let that only be a tiny step in comparison with where you go. I hope you see the world. I hope you breathe it in so deep, your heart makes a room for it all. I hope you smile every day and surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Live each day like it’s your last. Be brave, but don’t be afraid to show vulnerability because that’s beautiful. When you love, love hard. Don’t ever make anyone feel small. Find your place in the world. I can’t tell you how to get there, but I can tell you it is magnificent and the world needs you. Be kind, but don’t let anyone walk all over you. Know that if all of this was in my hands, I would be there with you holding yours. I can hear you if you talk to me. Don’t ever forget that you are the best thing that ever happened to me and I am here on one of these clouds watching you and your beautiful journey.

I am so proud of you.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


4 thoughts on “If I Should Go”

  1. Wow Stephanie that is perhaps the most beautiful work I have read of yours and I read them avidly. Some of indeed fantastic but this is amazing. Blown away here. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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