Beverly D,

You were the sounds I never got to hear,

The opening act for what began as a brilliant UT career.

You were the invitations

to compose odes and elegies.

You were the hug for Tanner Wray’s mom.

“Thank you for making me feel loved,” she wrote.

You communicated almost daily,

More than my sister. But we are sisters!

You were the gentleness and

Civility

The good ol’ boys didn’t know how to process.

O wait, they knew!

You were the one who stood side by side with

Campus workers. Now, they’re speaking out for you.

Whose voices do we value?

You were the one who stood for Pride and

Diversity. Whose voices are we willing to hear?

You were the one who quickly corrected big mistakes.

Athletics would not let you forget it.

You didn’t play well with others, the

President said.

You were the opening act for what could have been

A showstopper.

You were the one who stopped and listened.

“Gosh, if she only had a penis!” the poet wrote.

Under these circumstances, wouldn’t that be great!

We will not forget your strength and kindness.

You are the mother of Sloan, of Ford, the Army Ranger

who left no one on the field.

You were the one who lifted us.

Marilyn Kallet is a professor in the Department of English and can be reached at mkallet@utk.edu

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