Even Still

By Tanner Demaree

Look me in the eye, God damn
Am I not worth an answer?
For once, for me, say it aloud
Tell all about the cancer
I claimed that you were different
When others spoke against you
Only to see after so long
They knew you more than I do
You held me in the waters
But you’re not what you need to be
So I seek other altars
No honest words? Then please recall
The wage of what you hide
Not yours, but theirs, is what I fear
And that I can’t abide
I know you think this shame is love
This disrespect a service
It’s not, and it hurt me to find
Deceit beneath your surface
I thank you for the…everything
So much potential wasted
Now have the will to see what’s right
It’s far past time you faced it
Do you hear pains reverberate?
They echo, mine and yours
Don’t let them drown the sound of change
Forever at your door
Know that I hope for you and yours
As kin in faith and friend
There is a place He leaves for you
I’ll keep it to the end
Even still, you won’t just speak
You won’t or can’t talk true
Fitting; as before, it seems
Your silence screams it for you
God damn. Just say it.

In his senior year of high school, Tanner Demaree wrote a poem that won $250, and it went straight to his head. He’s been chasing that high ever since.