The Silence of Seven – Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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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

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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.

10 comments

  1. Words. Words strung together so precisely – beautiful, beautiful as a sword blade from the forge of a master, polished, engraved, and so very sharp. Well do I know there have been those in life I have wronged with silence, but, I do hope not so deeply as who this speaks to. Thank you, Stephanie. Nicole is right that this could not be easy to write or share, and thanks to her for putting it here. reblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Phoenix Arises
    Never in my life have I ever felt so completely and utterly helpless;
    In my mind’s eye, I picture you in your life, engulfed in flame;
    And as the fire burns down outwardly, it blazes like a furnace within;
    Consuming you and burning away everything that makes you…you;
    And nothing I say…nothing I do…nothing I have;
    Can come close to putting it out;
    And the irreparable harm that is coming of it, kills me with my own fire inside.

    And as the days are passing by, you remain a column of ash;
    And with each passing comment, as a small gust of wind;
    Begins to blow parts of you away, changing you and eroding you;
    I see you crumbling away and being reduced to nothing more than char;
    And I remain helped and immobilized, unable to do anything save to watch it happen;
    And some of those ashes fall onto my soul;
    And I begin to burn, I can feel the sadness and the anger;
    And it consumes my essence, taking me down to mere chattle;
    And I fear that If I cannot find a way to stop it;
    Then, the damage that is done will kill us both.

    I need what could still be there…you need it as well;
    That we might rise above the burning that scalds us;
    To repair the damage with tougher scars that will define us as survivors;
    And those that know what has happened will see;
    The strength that we always had, but we kept at bay;
    And instead of the fires burning from our eyes;
    They will see the light of our love shining out;
    Reflecting the the colors of the embers that threatened to consume us;
    And like a Phoenix, we will arise from our ashes renewed;
    Better than we were, brighter than the gray that had covered us…

    But…
    …for now…
    We burn…
    And I remain unable to do much more than crumble away…

    April 4, 2016
    4:08 am
    Brian Hoffmeyer

    Like

  3. Stephanie, this is exquisite and so painful and so, SO familiar. I wish I could wrap you up in a massive hug and make it all better for you. I wish I could tell you it’s all going to be okay. I wish I could believe it will be.

    Never lose your voice. Never give in to the silence.

    Like

  4. Sweet…and HARD, I’m sorry (sorry) that’s the best way I can describe the tone of what I felt. I hear you, hon, and this made me feel like I feel most days; old now and young again, with horror behind but strength in her hands and heart now. STRONG.

    Like

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