PTSD Poetry: Bright Light, by Denita Stevens

As many of you already know (and if you didn’t you found out about my PTSD poetry on Monday!), writing poetry was instrumental in my PTSD recovery process. This is true for many survivors. Over the years, I’ve been sent a lot of poetry from survivors struggling to put words to experience. In the past, I’ve posted:

Since April is National Poetry Month, the poetry fest continues with focus for the next few weeks. Today, I’m really pleased to introduce you to this phenomenal, award-winning poem by Denita Stevens.

Bright LightPTSD, Poetry month,

The sun also rises and brings forth something bright.
My sweet darkness has been invaded,
So I roll over and shut out the light.

If you were here, I’d say, “How impolite,”
Wanting me to lift more than an eyelid.
The sun also rises and brings forth something bright.

Aren’t you the fool, provoking a fight,
Flaunting your brilliance where I was shaded,
So I roll over and shut out the light.

Despite the distance, you’re still in my sight.
Do you still remember all that you did?
The sun also rises and brings forth something bright.

I feel your warm touch, my strong shiny knight,
Then I think how just last night you faded,
So I roll over and shut out the light.

Should I welcome tomorrow’s daylight,
When my peace will once more be invaded?
The sun also rises and brings forth something bright.
So I roll over and shut out the light.

For “Bright Light”, Denita was awarded the 2000 Academy of American Poets Prize at Baylor University & was recognized as the 2000 First Place Winner of the The Virginia B. Beall Poetry Prize.

Denita Stevens, 35, is rape survivor, volunteer firefighter, a member of the Lake Whitney Rescue Association and of the Waco P.D.’s Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association, a former CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) for foster children, who writes in her spare time.

She is a 2003 graduate of Baylor University majoring in Journalism, with a minor in Business Administration. While a student at Baylor, she was the winner of the 2000 Academy of American Poets Prize & the 2000 Virginia S. Beall Poetry Prize for a villanelle she wrote titled, “Bright Light” & wrote a feature story about depression, “Feeling Blue” which appeared in the Spring 1998 edition of “Focus: the Baylor Magazine.” She was also a Sports Reporter for the “Baylor Lariat” & has worked in the Sports Dept at the “Waco-Tribune Herald.” She also spent a summer abroad studying at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain.

The ideas contained in this post solely represent the perspective of the author. To contribute to ‘Survivors Speak’ contact Michele.


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