The Table

I don’t think you’re ready

for all I bring to the table

and the days when I show up

empty handed, bloodied knees,

with nothing more than

the broken parts of me.

The leftovers don’t always expire

when they are living, breathing

wounds that never heal.

I will serve those so many fucking times,

you will be stuffed full

and sick of trying to chew up

the tantrums, the overly dramatic

parts of me that never stop kicking.

Then the day will come

when you just refuse to swallow

the giving up of me,

the stubborn girl who lives here

sometimes doesn’t give in,

until you do first

and I can say it’s all your fault.

Then I’ll talk about how you left

the table before me

and I never got the chance

to serve you every course,

so you don’t know me at all.

I’ll say I was strong

and I’ll call you the weak one

for pushing your chair away

and leaving me

to feast on my wounds alone.

I’ll say, goddamnit…

you were supposed to be

my everything.

I’ll say, you were supposed to be

the one person who made it all go away.

Weren’t you supposed to fix me?

Wasn’t your Love supposed to be

THAT love?

The love that healed all these wounds

just by staying and holding my hand.

That’s what I’ll say.

Because I haven’t learned

the hard way yet

that it’s me who’s supposed to save me.

Maybe I’ll never learn that.

Maybe I’m scared to learn that.

Maybe I’m scared to fail at that.

Maybe I’m scared you will fail at that.

Maybe I’m just scared

to let someone love me.

So I’ll push you away

until you don’t anymore.

Because that’s what I know.

Change has always been hard

for me to serve at any table.

And so I light a candle

and eat alone.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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