The Silence of Seven – Stephanie Bennett-Henry



What can I say that I haven’t tried to tell you before?


I have tried to turn my voice into a machine

at times, thinking my words may drill

understanding into your head, your heart, anything.

I failed at that. Or you failed at that.

It doesn’t matter anymore.


What’s done is done and it exists

forever now. My heart is heavy with the weight

of the world, always has been.

But somehow I allowed you to make that heaviness

feel light

in comparison to the way judgement looks

in your eyes.


I can’t compare anything to the times I’ve felt so abandoned

by the person who promised for better or worse.

I laugh about that now. Sometimes I look at you

in your laid back ways, never

letting anything bring you down,

and I get it.

I get that you couldn’t possibly understand

the turmoil that turns my mind into a tornado

of so many different things. Things

that already destroyed who I was

and every day they threaten what’s left

of who I am now.


My grace is gone.

It left a long time ago with everything else.


I’ve tried to tell you about that girl you used to know. I told you over the years what

happened to her, why you’ll never see her again.

Even though you were there. It didn’t matter enough to you I guess.

But for me, God… help me now. I can’t even write about it without breaking

all over again.  And you know I never talk about God,

the way I once did. I can still feel the marks on my knees

from all the time I kneeled down and begged him….he never answered.

Or maybe his answer was like yours… just silence.


But that’s not an answer. Never was.

Never can be. Silence didn’t help me. Silence….


You know what silence is to me? It’s what killed that girl

I was before. Took everything I ever wanted and smeared

it across my face hard and said…”Sorry.” I hate

the word sorry.


But I never heard that word from you

then. I guess you didn’t know what to say,

like everyone else.  People always say the dumbest things

anyway.  Maybe silence is better

in the way it has tortured me for so long. Maybe never

having anyone acknowledge what happened

was better than hearing the words

“It was meant to be.”


Please tell me how something like that

is meant to be.  I already know the stupid

answers people use for that question.

It was never meant to be.


Tell me why I had to hear

those beautiful heartbeats so many times

only to have

“I’m so sorry” shoved down my throat

like a flatline telling me

“fuck you!”

I want you to know what it’s like.


I want you to feel this.

I want you to look at this

four bedroom house. Open the two doors

that stay closed. I need you to feel

the same emptiness.  I want you to lie down

on that table at the doctors office

with the cold substance

on your belly, feel the anticipation

of hearing the heartbeat again.


I want you to see the face of the technician who leaves

to get the dr. I want you to feel it when the Dr says,

“I’m sorry.”  I want you to hear how

“I’m sorry” sounds to me.

It sounds like “I’m sorry your baby is dead….

maybe next time.”

I want you to know what that feels like.

Then I want you to feel it

seven times.

I want it to destroy you.

I want you to relive each one for the rest of your life.


I want it to empty you. I want it to strip your faith

in everything.

I want you to be cut open again

and again, so the doctor can scrape out what’s left

of your dreams. Then I want to constantly ask you

what happened to you.

Tell you how you used to be so much better.

How now you’re just crazy.


Or maybe I just wanted you to acknowledge it once…


or seven times.


But you never did.


That’s how we died.


© Stephanie Bennett-Henry 2016


Stephanie is a Southern Girl through and through. Sweet as candy, sharp as a blade, and talented beyond measure, Stephanie’s poetry is raw, unfiltered, and unforgettable. You can find her exquisite words at Stephanie Bennet-Henry, on Instagram, and on her website.