“Four Poems for Youth” by Stephanie Henson

Mosaic Masterpiece

You may think you are broken,

but lovely things can be created from the pieces.

Up, down, sideways, and in between—

non symmetrical shapes in different sizes with sheen.

A mosaic masterpiece,

glimmers and shimmers from every angle.

The glue that binds creates,

A stunning piece of artwork.

Each tile a testament of bravery.

A cracked creation once underestimated,

now has value beyond measure.


My board is there to guide me.

Through the back and forth,

the mundane dips of the days.

Going through the motions to get to monumental moments.

But then there’s big air to grab —

With tricks and spins that dazzle.

A 360 of emotional elation.

Way up high above the clouds, on top of the world.

But must prepare for the inevitable let down,

whether that be a soft landing or an epic crash.

My board is there to guide me.


The rain tap dances on my window.

Crusty eyes blink awake.

Clutch the comfy blanket,

feel the fleece tickle my chin,

look up at the ceiling fan,

soothing sounds whoosh and hum,

night light reflects and projects safety,

A soft glow deterring creatures of the dark.

Watch the blades above continue in circles,

Hypnotic in its rhythm,

as I drift back to sleep.

Balloon Animals

Twisting, turning, sculpting,

Careful not to let them pop.

Balloons morphing into something more—

To the delight of little ones, dancing in anticipation.

Shaping, bending, modeling,

Artists create styles and smiles.

Crafting a basic balloon into happiness,

As a child leaves the fair with a brand new pet.

Copyright © 2022 Stephanie Henson

All Rights Reserved

Stephanie lives with her family in Southeastern, Pennsylvania, but is originally from Central, New Jersey. She she has a degree in Communications and a Publishing and Professional Writing Certificate from Rider University. Her background is in Advertising/Marketing and most of her writing experience is through those professional roles. Writing and storytelling has been her passion for a long time. She has been published in print and online through various publications and has had several children’s poems published by The Dirigible Balloon, Buzgaga Online, Parkakeet Magazine, and Paperbound Magazine. She also has a Children’s Poetry book, In the Right Lane, released in affiliation with Experiments in Fiction, an independent publisher in the UK, which reached Number One New Release in Children’s Poetry on Amazon (ebook).

Stephanie enjoys reading, theatre, mindless web searching, Netflix binges, sunflowers, sports, and anything related to coffee!

My Response to In the Right Lane

When this book was released, I immediately bought the print copy. The book has 92 short poems for young people ages 8 to 12. I wish I had had this book when I was in school. As a sensitive child and the youngest in the classroom, I was often bullied by both boys and girls, who demeaned me, stabbed me with lead pencils, isolated me, and physically attacked me. I remember one ferocious fight I had with a girl on the way home one day. Fists flew, hair was pulled, and my blouse was shredded. I managed to prevail, but the altercation was traumatic.

Because we moved often as our family was growing and Dad needed to find bigger churches, I was also the new kid in class. Even in grade school, children form cliches, and it was difficult to break into established groups. Fortunately, Mom comforted me as I cried after school, but I think a poetry book such as Henson’s would have been an invaluable companion, as well.

Henson’s poems address childhood insecurity, fear, confusion, loneliness, and low self-esteem.
The poems build children up and provide comfort as well as guidance. In “The Bully Crew”, Henson tells my little 8-year-old self that bullies project their own pain onto others. “ They are likely unhappy in some way.” Henson advises that it’s best to ignore the bullies and “hold your head high”. Once they see you aren’t reacting, they will lose interest, “retreat and move along”. To be in the right lane with bullies, you have to focus on your goals, dreams, and self-worth. “You are busy with mountains to climb……/ you are worth much more than you know.”

As I read these poems, I think about how vulnerable our children are these days with a social order that is collapsing into vitriolic online interactions, gun violence in schools, and an increase in suicides among our youth. But I also know that that poetry is a therapist and a healer. If you have a child aged 8 to 12, I highly recommend this book.

Editor: Barbara Harris Leonhard

Amazon Best-Selling Author

Three-Penny Memories: A Poetic Memoir (EIF-Experiments in Fiction, 2022)

Pushcart Nominee, 2022

MasticadoresUSA is open for submissions. Send your submissions to meelosmom@gmail.com

Facebook: Barbara Harris Leonhard /barbara.leonhard

Twitter: @BarbaraLeonhar4

Instagram: @meelosmom123

Linked In: ExtraordinarySunshineWeaver

Mastodon: @BarbaraLeonhard@msdtn.social

Images: by GDJ on Pixabay 

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7 Comentarios Agrega el tuyo

  1. Meelosmom dice:

    Stephanie, thank you for contributing your wise and loving words for youth, and your book In the Right Lane! Please submit again!

    Le gusta a 1 persona

  2. jonicaggiano dice:

    This is a beautiful post, thank you Stephanie and and Barbara. I love the way she constructs such happy pieces of simple things. The descriptive parts of what the skateboard does for her, it is more like a friend. I just love that. So a big congratulations for this lovely publication of multiple pieces.

    Barbara, I am sorry you went through this but appreciate you sharing and I certainly know the trenches of sadness that quickly a child falls into with the bullying. I always felt I was front and center for bullying at school. A beautiful read and gracious of you to share. Have a blessed day!

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Meelosmom dice:

      Thank you, Joni! I’m grateful the poems and response spoke to you!

      Le gusta a 1 persona

  3. Beautiful rhythms and light in your well crafted poetry Stephanie.. Lovely! 💗

    Le gusta a 1 persona

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