Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry

Big League Love

I guess I never learned how to lose gracefully. It’s in my bones, constantly reminding me that first place is the only win that counts and second place is the same as losing. So, I never lost. I grew with winning caught in my teeth to make sure I always tasted it and it was much too sweet to not want more. Competition was a needle, bringing me straight to the front of the line with my arms straight out waiting. There is no pain in winning, stick it in my vein so deep, I need another taste. It was a quick fix that showed me the conditions laced through love have a price and you better fucking earn it. There’s no time for tired, like there’s no room for sick, so you better get your ass on that field and run those bases like death is right behind you. Hit the ball out of the park or don’t even bother. Break your bones before you miss a catch, I mean it. Nothing matters more than this moment, this game, this play. Now go out there and win it. Life is about not being a quitter, so I better see some blood on your knees to make it count. Now go make it count with a win because I am not raising losers. Don’t come home with a ribbon for second place or a trophy that lost with less than first, get it done. Run that track like it knows your name, I want to hear it. Tracks aren’t made for walking, now sprint it. You need to be the first one done even at practice because there’s no such thing as practice in life, you better own it. I didn’t buy those shoes to fit a runner up, I bought them for a winner. What are you waiting for? I want to hear your shoes hitting the track with every step, now go. You better jump the fucking hurdle the first try or you can jump it a hundred times when we get home, now master it. When game night comes, I won’t be watching but act like I am and win it. When the track meet happens, you are on your own, but you better be the quickest. I’ll try to come watch if your brother gets done, but most likely not. Girls sports aren’t for real anyway, why are you crying? Dry it up for the win even though it doesn’t really matter. Gotta go, your brother is playing the real thing and he needs more trophies to shine some light on what it means to be golden. Maybe then his shadow won’t keep you hidden and I’ll be able to see you.. nope, just sit there and cheer along or maybe start supper. Yard work isn’t for girls, but you can do the laundry. I will buy you whatever you want as long as you be quiet. Stay out of the way, just have dinner ready and I’ll take you shopping. Anything you want as long as you know I love you. The price tag on that love is breaking me, but that’s easier than saying it. Your brother may get a scholarship, so here take this money because I want you to be happy. I don’t have time for this shit and these screw ups, your brother has a game tonight, just go to your room. You’re grounded for the rest of the week.. okay, not really, take this money and go have fun. I’m busting my ass trying to make him what I never was and you keep fucking it up. Here’s a new car.. goodbye. Just take my wallet and get out of the way. This is the big leagues. You look pretty though, Angel. But… this is the big leagues, where pretty never mattered.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


3 thoughts on “Big League Love”

  1. Stephanie, I do’t think I could talk fast enough to read this aloud the way it feels, such a headlong race with love at the finish line, even if the words don’t get said, and no number of wins can put you in First Place compared to a brother.

    Liked by 1 person

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