Only The Stars Had A Straight Face – Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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Sometimes it’s funny when someone is drunk, we all laugh like it’s not the alcohol, and we are still laughing the next day at that silly, funny, clown, as we sweep the mess that never even made us chuckle. No. It made us cry. But today, everything will be better, because laughing it off made it go away, right? Never. But it helped us cope. So laughter became the best medicine and we made jokes like crack addicts getting a fix… it’s all better now. Then the sun comes up and we are drenched in a hangover of exactly how laughter tastes. It’s bitter. I don’t want it. I never want it. It’s not a choice, so I clean my plate without gagging and that’s funny too. We laugh like saying grace before dinner. It’s not funny, but our skin is programmed to say otherwise. Amen. We had bunk beds filled with giggles and I see the moon right outside the window of my top bunk tears. I started begging the moon for wishes it never had and the stars laughed while we always slept never tucked in, and we didn’t want to see the sun but we didn’t look away from it. It was the night anyway where monsters played hide and seek with us and we were the ones counting with our eyes shut tight, hoping we didn’t find them, but it didn’t matter. Whether we were the hiders or the seekers, we knew we would lose. We lost. There was a day when we stopped laughing. None of it was funny anymore. Even the stars had a straight face, the clouds hid the sun’s shine, and the moon looked the other way. The moon was like the face of everyone I ever knew. Looking the other way in the direction of pretending. Taught me how to pretend too. So I pretend to smile, pretend to trust, pretend to live. And we all know I died in those bunk beds when the moon looked me straight in the face and said, “Fuck You” and we laughed. It never was a dream, it was hell disguised as a nightmare and I’m not laughing anymore.

© Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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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.

4 comments

  1. Stephanie, this has real power. I’m thinking of a son that I can’t find on line which has had this kind of effect on me for many years. The title is “Children’s Blues” and one line is, “That’s how, yes, that’s how some children learn to sing the Blues” and Bonnie Koloc was the singer. Thank you for this.

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