Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Unclaimed Baggage

It’s not your fault,

It’s me.

Always me

who sabotages my old wounds

to make them new again

so I can call it a bandage

when it’s nothing more

than a scapegoat.

My shoulders are too heavy

to take on more blame.

I am weighed down already

with regret

that eats away at my flesh

and there’s no room

for all the resentment

built into my bones.

My bags have been packed

for so long.

It’s the baggage inside,

I never learned how to put it down.

I never learned how to walk without it.

Call it a crutch if you will,

A drug I can’t stop taking.

So I fill my veins with self doubt

until I’m collapsed

and bleeding out

in the reflection of my own flaws

and I soak in the comfort

of knowing that’s where I’m safe.

Treading inside the self image

and it’s so fucking warped

or maybe it’s not.

Maybe that’s who I am.

Maybe that’s what everyone else sees.

Me… drowning.

I never was a strong swimmer

even in shallow waters.

I’m too weighed down to notice

I can stand here,

so I keep going under.

People watching

like it’s a circus show.

Free Entertainment

and it’s fucking funny, isn’t it?

I’m a puppet.

I’ll play along just so I don’t have to say,

I’m really not okay

and I don’t think I’ve ever been.

I’ll play along

so those headlights on the road

don’t look like a invitation

with my name.

But they look so beautiful

like going into the light.

Or the medicine cabinet at 16

when those bottles looked like candy

and that’s when I discovered

my sweet tooth.

I’ve always had an audience.

They have applauded every time

at the wrong times

because she’s so fucking pretty.

She was so fucking pretty.

Crumbled up paper on the floor,

a handwritten goodbye

that was never said

because I fucked that up too.

It became the latest joke of my act.

Everyone laughed.

You know blondes can be so dumb,

but adorable too.

How’d you get those cuts on your arms?

Why can’t you just sit there

and fucking be pretty?

Nothing else.

How hard is that?

Just fucking be pretty.

And thin…

be so fucking thin.

Smile like you mean it

and stop crying.

Stop the fucking crying.

Dry it up.

Pack it up tight.

Keep it inside.

Like baggage you’ll never unpack.

Standing ovation….

Thank you.

It’s always the disasters

that people flock to.

Glad to be of service.

Thanks for coming to the show,

but I’m not doing autographs today.

Find the paper crumbled on the floor…

You never did read those.

Stephanie Bennett-Henry


10 thoughts on “Unclaimed Baggage”

  1. I’m tempted to wonder if there is a “why?” to seeing Baggage come up so strong (twice, now, so far) today. I’m no fan of omens and messages from the beyond (from my own subterranean depths is another matter). Somehow, though, I find it hard to resist reading crumpled papers on the floor.

    Liked by 1 person

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