Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Feeding the Wound

Just along the center of the breaking, where the first crack was licked dirty, and the rest would spread like seeds planting new ones to take root, there is a bloom. You have not seen it yet, but you will. Just behind the glaze, left like a screen door slamming your eyes shut with tears, you’ve been on your knees far too long. Feeding the wounds, taking note of how to keep each one alive to save your life, but it’s time to let them die. You need to lay each one to rest to make room for the new blooms. Forget the wounds, doused in pain. They are all withered and half dead anyway. You feed them your tears, cover them in time, but each one sprouts a scar and your knees are covered in blood. Get up. That’s not your garden anymore. Your garden is so much more than that. Start digging it up. It has words and laughter, hope and dignity. It has your whole heart with all of your light. It has the version of you that you have not met yet. And she’s smiling. Take a shovel, love. Go find the garden where you are waiting to bloom.

Stephanie Bennett-Henry

Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

The Stars Come Home

Woman, made of spine, rooted deep where flowers grow, despite secrets long buried in the soil where ancestors died, holding their last breath like one last chance.

Woman, made of strength where one tree started alone, branched out with hands reaching, holding, bending, to welcome the others to evolve and rupture into a forest that never stops fighting to stay.

Woman, made of bones that break and flesh that tears, but a spirit that screams as a call to the brave to say, “your heart is wild, your soul is fierce, and without you, the universe would cease to exist.”

Woman. With those fearless feet, that sharp tongue holding words like knives beneath, there’s an echo in your throat that calls, a forest full of warriors that refuse to fall.

Woman, you are a legend of worth. If you ever forget, look around you at the other legends we call women. They are growing everywhere.

Birthing forests filled with brave hearts, kind souls, and unbreakable spirits. That’s why the ocean rolls and applauds in waves. That’s why the sky uses the sun the shine a spotlight on you. When the moon grows full, and the stars start to fall at your feet, they are falling home, because they know Home is you, woman. Home is you.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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#ragingrhetoric

Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Hope Was My Weapon

I have had my feet kicked out from beneath me, fallen down to my knees, the breath knocked out of me. I have had to find out the hard way if I was brave or if I was weak, searched for courage in the lowest parts of rock bottom, lost my faith a hundred times. I have questioned my own spirit, misplaced my will, looked for grace in the ugliest moments and could not find it. I have tested the waters, swam against the most uncertain waves, begged the sky for more chances, screamed profanities at the silence. I have been tested to the limit, forced to prove who I am and all I am made of. It wasn’t easy, but nothing worth fighting for ever is. And the fight never stops, so I cannot ever stop. I was fighting for myself. I am still fighting and I will continue no matter what life throws at me. I am suited up and ready. I have scars stitched up with hope, faith in my own bravery, and strength running through my blood that does not let me quit. So, I stay. So, I fight. And maybe, I will win once again. But if I don’t, just remember that I never gave up, that I went out swinging, and I left a mark for the warriors to carry in my name, for my life was never once in vain.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

#stephaniebennetthenry

#ragingrhetoric

Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

In Dreams of Waking

There are spaces hidden in plain sight, between the white noise and the chaos, the peace behind the hell, the silence following the song. I hear them always. They wake me dead out of sleep, pinch and slaughter, yearn and bleed, hold me with promises, filthy me with lies, and they all break, like I break, torturing my pieces into the cruelest crumbling. Come to my window, sing me fast asleep with lullabies that swear not to make light of my heart as long as my eyes stay shut so tight, and just along the dark of night, the moon sleeps next to me and we dream of glowing in the dark in spaces that stay hidden. In my dreams I go there. Sometimes I make my home there. But I never stay to grow there.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

The River Always Knew

Don’t let them tame you.

Be the chaos that burns,

the wild heart with unruly strings,

the passion without a name,

the flames that cannot be contained.

Don’t let them settle your spirit.

Be the whole forest,

branching out from one small seed,

the quiet noise of birds taking flight,

the wind applauding the wings,

the trees that know they’re not alone,

the birds always come back home.

Don’t let them change you.

Be the river.

The way it breaks and bends,

but never loses sight

of where it’s going

and when it gets there,

it spills itself

into something bigger

but still feels worthy of being there

and the ocean thanks it

for the grace of every ripple,

carries it with the waves

to proves that it matters.

And the river always knew.

The river always knew,

same as you.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

#stephaniebennetthenry

#ragingrhetoric

Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Dandelion Fields

Woman, you don’t even see your own power, but I do… I do and it looks like a downpour of magic, disguised within tiny brush strokes of brave hands, grasping madness from wishes you made under the stars once in that field of dandelions. The ones you thought never came true. But they did. They are hidden in those sad eyes, behind that smile you thought was wiped clean of courage, in your throat where those words simmer and wait. You pull them out, seed by seed, word for word, wish for wish, make them dance like you do. And my god, they dance after you touch them, like heaven held you once and refused to ever let go. Like me, I refuse to let go of this real life picture show. The reel spins soft and there you are… holding your power like magic and wishes, and you stand there as though your hands have always been empty. You don’t even know. But I do. I do and I refuse to look away from the shine that hides behind those sad eyes. There’s a world in your eyes that looks like magic, trying to tell a story of the woman whose hands were always full of wishes when she thought they were only weeds, until we all started wishing to be brave like her. And we all came true. Just like you, woman, just like you.

That story in your eyes has a happy ending. I hope you see it soon.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

#ragingrhetoric #stephaniebennetthenry

Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

I’m Okay

Someone asked if I was okay. It surprised me and caught me off guard all at once and I replied with “what do you mean?”

They explained that they had been busy lately, but kept having a feeling that perhaps something was not right.

I treasure friends like this. The ones who take the time to ask. Those are the ones I hold with both hands, whole heart, soul split wide open, with a gratitude that takes me to my knees forever. To me, that is beautiful.

Whether I am okay or not is something I struggle with opening up about. Because I did once. Despite my fears, I tore my own walls down and became an open book to thumb through. Opening yourself up to someone you trust with every part of you is a scary thing, but freeing once you know without a doubt that you are safe in their hands. They know everything about you, your secrets, your fears, your demons, your baggage. They love you unconditionally. The no matter what kind of love. The heart and soul kind of love. That without a doubt kind of love.

And then… that love folds with conditions, bends into doubt, and falls into the nothing that was once the all. Here comes the walls.

I built the armor back high.

I learned not to open myself up ever again to anyone. Because I know what it’s like to share everything with someone and have it used against you. I know what it’s like to have someone love every single part of you one day, and hate it all the next. I know what it’s like to talk to someone every single day and night, and then never hear a word again. I know what it’s like to have someone you think of as your best friend in the world become a stranger you never talk to again. I know what it’s like to be at the lowest point of my life and not have that person anymore or anyone else to talk to. I know what the silent treatment feels like. I know the bathroom floor crying, the devastation, the emptiness. I know all too well how it feels to need that one person to talk to, but you can’t anymore because they’re nothing more than a stranger now and you don’t know why. You only know that all you shared means nothing now. You only know it’s always going to hurt. You only know the friends you lost along the way, but mostly the one you trusted with your life. You feel it when they leave. It leaves an emptiness that cannot be filled. It leaves ruin that cannot be undone. And life or death, my lips are sealed. Okay or not, my throat is empty.

I wish I didn’t know how that felt. But I do.

So, I keep myself safe now behind these walls. And I always say I’m okay whether I am or not. It’s all I have. My words… they got lost somewhere between the all or nothing, when I hit bottom and crashed into the no matter what, and I found myself as worthless as the fall promised to be a lie.

A head first dive I took for face value, I hold on tight now… and never let go. Because I did once.. and it ruined me.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

#stephaniebennetthenry

#ragingrhetoric