The Color of a Lie 

The blood is thick here 

circling around cold hearts 

constantly trying to take my hand, 

but never to hold it. 

All eyes on me, looking like home, 

I stare into them, memorize them, 

until I recognize the color 

of a lie folded over, disguised 

like a mask that looks familiar; 

I have been here before. 

I don’t want to be anymore. 

I see my spine in your eyes

turned weak, I see my heart 

in your mouth as you chew it up; 

well spit it out… I want it back. 

I’m not taking your hand 

so you can pull me to the place 

you think I should go. 

I know where my dreams are, 

I remember the way. 

I have emptied your eyes, 

taken back what’s mine. 

Don’t follow me.  

I will follow my heart 

for the first time in so long. 

You can taste your own words, 

feel the sharp edges 

of all you made me swallow, 

and finally understand this 

complicated sadness of me

came from your hands, dripping 

with jokes I never laughed at

and hearts I stopped trying 

to warm into a home. 

 -Stephanie Bennett-Henry © 2017

You Cannot Kill My Heroes

The Heroes Who Fought For You 
Memorial Day: 

A day to remember and honor the fallen United States soldiers who fought in wars to protect you and give you the freedom you have today. They loved their country enough to risk their lives and paid the ultimate sacrifice. They believed in something. They believed in something so much, they were willing to be a human shield for you, for me. 

If you are reading this, thank the soldier who fought and died for your freedom to do so. 

I am aware that everyone has their own views and opinions, and those don’t always match mine. I’m absolutely fine with that and I respect everyone’s freedom to believe whatever they choose. 

Our veterans, our wars, our soldiers: those are heroes. That’s not a debatable opinion. 

The soldiers who died, the wars they fought, 

and what they believed in: that’s fact. 

It doesn’t change with time. It doesn’t change ever. Those heroes are set in stone. Honor them. 

If there’s one thing I’m passionate about, 

it is all United States veterans, active duty soldiers, and anyone in a uniform who risk their lives to protect you and me. 

I’m writing this because I always thought everyone believed the same as me. I never heard another side. I never imagined that there could be anyone who didn’t think all veterans were heroes. I never knew there were people who believed they somehow earned their own freedom and had nobody to thank. Until last year.  

I was going to write this in a tender way. I was going to fluff it up to soften the blow of my words. I was going to…. 

but I never held a pen with a feathery tip. I never learned how to tell a story in a half ass way to spare the feelings of someone else. I’ve said before, I’m not writing your heart, I’m writing mine. I am writing mine. I’m writing in ink that bleeds truth, even if I bleed out, it will never be fiction. 

Last year. It changed me a little. I haven’t quite had my heart ripped out before that day. Someone told me veterans aren’t heroes at all, that we’ve never fought a war that brought anyone freedom. That all of these soldiers are basically the bitches of a corrupt government. 

It still leaves me speechless and heartbroken to know that anyone would have this thought process, that anyone would teach this, feel this, believe this. I can’t understand the logic. I won’t understand that kind of logic. Ever. 

Agree or disagree, it doesn’t matter to me. But I will tell anyone who thinks this way will be the ones we blame one day for the end of humanity- if it hasn’t already ended. I see a lot of people talking about the world ending and blaming politics, government, or whatever they possibly can to keep the blind eye strong. The truth hurts. It’s hard to look sometimes. So many beautiful things being turned so ugly by… not politics or government, but the people who have taken on this thought process. The one that says, “fuck the police.” The voices that say the president is to blame for everything as they burn flags, march for something they think will change the world, but spit on graves as each foot touches the ground. Protesting is your right. How do you think you got that right? Do you think it came from protestors 

rallying up a big welcome home to the Vietnam veterans who returned only to get a big “fuck you” spit in the face? Do you think the veterans who left for war as boys and returned home as men started committing suicide because of the horrors of the war? Or do you think it was the shame and hate pounded into their faces on their own soil? Probably both. Maybe the agent orange that is still killing those soldiers today. 

Let me tell you this:  

If you believe the logic that soldiers are no longer heroes because the war they fought turned out to not really be justified: You are not only extremely ignorant, YOU ARE A BIG PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT.    

Take a minute and read that last paragraph aloud. Then think about what you’re saying. 

It’s as dumb as me saying, oh, they died from cancer? There’s a cure now.. so fuck them. 

Those soldiers are six feet under, but your words dig them up, slap them around with war again, and bury them with disrespect, with spit, with an all for nothing fuck off, and without a flag because you ripped them from the schools and burned every single one. 

It doesn’t matter if a war wasn’t really justified, if we had no business being there, if you didn’t agree with it, or if you believe the government had ulterior motives. 

The soldiers that were actually there fighting

believed what they were fighting for, and they were fighting for you. They were fighting for their country. 

You cannot dig them up now and decide they are not heroes after all. You cannot dig them up and hang them with the shredded American flag. It happened. They fought. They died. They are heroes. You’re not changing history. You’re not rewriting a soldiers story with some rainbow bullshit. You will never rewrite the history of America and what it means, and if you think it was all for nothing, you don’t deserve to be American. Ashamed of your country? Goodbye. You live in the greatest country in the world, but you’re slowly destroying it with the blame it on someone else mentality. The bullshit being taught today instead of actual fucking history. The people who call themselves American but refuse to stand for the national anthem, or say the pledge of allegiance. Those are the people who think a president will end our country and divide humanity.  

The only thing running our country into the ground and dividing humanity are the ones who carry the victim mentality in their pockets and pull it out every day. The ones who don’t believe in their country like the soldiers who died. The people who never learned how to be brave like a soldier, fight a war like a soldier, lay down their life like a soldier. 

What are you doing for this country? 

Have you ever done anything like a soldier? 

Have you gone to war? Died at war? 

Fought for something you believed in with everything inside of you? 

Are you teaching your children that these soldiers were just stupid, trigger happy rednecks who fought a war just for the fuck of it? If you are, you are the reason the world is going to shit. So, stay stupid. 

Thank a veteran. Honor the fallen.  

They didn’t die for nothing. They fought and died for you. They did not die in vain. 

They died for this country. I will not let you spit on it. Not now, not ever. 

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry © 2017 🇺🇸

Wanderer 

They call me a wanderer. 

Never quite found my place 

and I’m as lost as I’ve ever been. 

Looking for signs 

like there may be one 

just for me, there never is. 

No one is talking, no one is listening, 

but everyone is and it’s all too loud. 

My mind is rush hour.

My mind is a traffic jam. 

My mind, I can’t give it a name. 

My heart was once my navigation 

until it broke. Now I’m playing it all 

by ear and I’m telling you 

turn down the bass, my core is deaf. 

I’ve tuned it all out and now 

I can’t tone it down. 

There’s a faint sound of music 

somewhere in the distance, 

but it hasn’t been my song 

and it hasn’t been my station 

for the longest time. 

I sing like I still know the words 

but I don’t. I’m only going by the rhythm 

and the way it never stops shaking me. 

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

Solo Fighter 

This sadness, this undeniable madness;

it’s not some extravagant plan 

I mapped out to inconvenience you.

I don’t lay awake at night perfecting 
the details of how I can fuck it all up 

again and again and again and again. 

Believe it or not, that’s just who I am; 

It’s a sick curse that’s out of my hands. 

But you keep grabbing it like it’s yours 

to touch. You keep analyzing it as if 

maybe somehow it can be about you, 

maybe you can try to hold it without 

getting burned, and maybe you can 

say you saved me. You never will. 

Any chance of saving me is long gone, 

like the ones I once called heroes;

they are buried now along with my 

dreams. There are no flowers keeping 

those headstones warm, same as 

my heart that’s still beating so cold. 

I have never been good at pretending, 

but there’s an award somewhere 

with my name on it for playing alive 

despite the times I watched myself die. 

I never came back from that slow death; 

deep breaths filled with questions inhaled, 

exhaling the taste of silence from the 

absence of answers that emptied me. 

Everything was supposed to be different, 

but it’s not, never will be, so I swallow 

the way it should have been, and choke 

on the survival I never could pull off. 

So as you search my eyes for reason

hoping to name each tear with rhyme, 

remember the color before the daze 

was once a fighter who fought alone. 

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry 

The Howl in Her Throat

She never found a place that was comfortable, 

never quite fit in where most people do. 

She wanted to dance through the fire 

but nobody ever wanted to burn. 

She wanted to touch the stars that 

everyone else admired from afar. 

She wanted the moon to notice 

the howl in her throat 

until it loved everything 

to her heart and back.

 #stephaniebennetthenry #howlinherthroat

The Dream of What If 

I am haunted. 

Not my ghosts of my past 

or mistakes I can’t undo, 

I am haunted by the future, 

the dream of what if, 

and the reality 

that all I have promised to myself 

is nothing but one big lie. 

#stephaniebennetthenry #haunted #thedreamofwhatif

Take It 

I have too many flaws to name, 

larger through my own eyes. 

But the one flaw that suffocates me slowly

is the way I give too much of myself 

to people who never deserved me at all. 

There’s a certain stubbornness that 

never allows me to learn my lesson. 

So, here you go, take it! 

I would have given you part of me anyway. 

#stephaniebennetthenry

#toomanyflawstoname

The Moment That Haunts Me 

I cannot get away from the moment that haunts me. The day we ended stalks my thoughts, stuck on replay, volume full blast, and god, it hurts. Years have passed but my heart says it was yesterday. My life is the same, yours has moved on without me, but I cannot stop missing you like crazy. And it’s crazy, isn’t it? The way I’ll never see that look in your eyes again, the one I swear was born from us. I will never see those eyes again. I will never see the you I knew, only who you are now and the pretend to be friends hug. The awkward eye contact that says, I remember loving you so much, I never did learn how to stop. #stephaniebennetthenry

Monsters in My Mouth 

I am an angel 

with monsters 

in My Mouth. 

#stephaniebennetthenry 

#angelwithmonstersinmymouth 

The Person in the Mirror

One day you’ll figure out that 

you don’t need anyone to show you 

who you are. You’ll see, I promise. 

You will look into the mirror and 

finally be in love with the person 

staring back at you. 

That day will be the beginning 

of who you’ve always been. 

#stephaniebennetthenry