Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Be the Flame

I almost always have my foot ready on the mark, set perfectly, until the trigger pulls the chamber into go and I freeze like my heart is wild, but not wild enough to break out of the safety. So I stand on the line, watch the world take a head start, while I analyze if there’s enough time to catch up. My heart takes off without me, she has always been wild that way. I catch her every once in a while, feels hot to the touch, like brave and beautiful filling the cracks of where my coward sleeps cold. I keep the fire sometimes, just along my fingers, use it to warm myself with the memories of growing wild in my own roots that bloomed with the proof of brave and beautiful. I was planted firm, grounded without doubt and so full of light that offered certainty to my shine. That was before I learned how some things can be lost or taken or forgotten. Before I knew that nothing can be a promise other than a lie. And sometimes the things you believe are yours forever get lost for a while. The light finds another place to shine and you welcome the dark because you believe you already wilted. But the dark can never be a promise that offers to feed anything other than your fear and the fear thrives on you giving up. It blooms on the thought of you staying down, foot on the line, set to safety, never crossing over to where the light shines wild and the wild feels free. This is the hard part. This is where you stand on your own, despite the light that faded away and in spite of the dark holding you down. You get up and fight the dark off, so you can find the light again, even if you have to start from scratch. Carve the dim shine from wherever you find it, add to it until it’s brighter than the flame, then be the flame. Be the flame. Rip it open, let the center burn you, because it’s in the center of the fire where you find the key that unlocks your safety and sends the fear back into the dark. Release the chamber, ready on your mark, set on the wild in your heart… and go. Go like you are not chasing brave anymore, because it has always been chasing you. You are the flame.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


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