To This Day by Shane Koyczan Response

November 5, 2017
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Turns out
you were right
you weren’t the only kid
who grew up that way
before
I’m not sure I would have noticed
it was like passing by burning stars
without noticing their flames
until they were lost in a constellation
it wasn’t until
after
that I found those stars amongst the sky
that wrong answer that
someone tried to erase
that conversation piece between
people who can’t understand
why sticks and stones
are nothing
compared to a childhood of being teased
you convey pain so beautifully
so accurately
the inside of your mind
must be a terrible place
when I was a kid
my pork chops were served
as a slice of apple pie
get it?
Apple Pye?
every bus ride was a war
and every name I got called
carved a battle scar
they said pain
is part of the human experience
kids will be kids
in short
I can’t decide if I agree
we are all born extraordinary
I am so deeply sorry they convinced you
that you are less than even ordinary
that no one bothered to hear the blues your heart played
as it bled out
I’m sorry that this first aid kit
can’t help you
and that they made you forget to love yourself
but remember how they labeled you as ugly
most of all
I’m sorry that you didn’t sign
that cast around your broken heart sooner
because
despite the echoes of those voices who claim otherwise
their stones and sticks may not have hurt us
but their words sure did
stay strong through your pain
create fire from it
burn gracefully
dangerously
loudly
burn quietly
however you heal
just burn
we aren’t the only kids who grew up this way
and as much as it pains us
we will certainly not be the last






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