Powerful! I hope it gets more than than cursory consideration.
Oh, nice. Sharing on FB.
The lyrics, from his website:
When I was a kid, I used to think that pork chops and karate chops
were the same thing.
I thought they were both pork chops.
And because my grandmother thought it was cute, and because they were
my favorite, she let me keep doing it.
Not really a big deal.
Well one day, before I realized fat kids were not designed to climb
trees, I fell out of a tree
And bruised the right side of my body.
I didn’t want to tell my grandmother about it because I was scared I
would get in trouble for playing
somewhere I shouldn’t have been.
A few days later, the gym teacher noticed the bruise and I got sent
to the principal’s office.
From there I was sent to another small room with a really nice lady
who asked me all kinds of questions about
my life at home.
I saw no reason to lie.
As far as I was concerned, life was pretty good.
I told her whenever I’m sad my grandmother gives me karate chops!
This led to a full scale investigation, and I was removed from the
house for three days until they finally
decided to ask how I got the bruises.
News of this silly little story quickly spread through the school and
I earned my first nickname:
To this day, I hate pork chops.
I’m not the only kid who grew up this way,
Surrounded by people who used to say that rhyme about sticks and
As if broken bones hurt more than the names we got called,
And we got called them all,
So we grew up believing that no one would ever fall in love with us,
that we’d be lonely, forever.
That we would never meet someone that would make us feel like the sun
was something they built for us in
their tool shed.
So from broken heart strings bled the blues and we tried to empty
So we would feel nothing.
Don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone.
That an ingrown life is something surgeons can cut away, that there’s
no way it to metastasize
She was eight years old.
Our first day of grade three, when she got called ugly,
We both got moved to the back of class so we would stop getting
bombarded by spit balls
But the school halls were a battleground where we found ourselves
outnumbered day after wretched day, we
used to stay inside for recess because outside was worse.
Outside, we’d have to rehearse running away, or learn to stay still
like statues giving no clues we were there.
In grade five, they taped a sign to the front of her desk that read
**BEWARE OF DOG**
To this day, despite a loving husband, she doesn’t think she’s
beautiful because of a birthmark that takes up a little less than half
of her face.
Kids used to say she looks like a wrong answer that someone tried to
erase, but couldn’t quite get the job done.
And I’ll never understand that she’s raising two kids whose
definition of beauty begins with the word “Mom.”
Because they see her heart before they see her skin and she’s only
ever been amazing.
He was a broken branch grafted onto a different family tree.
Not because his parents opted for a different destiny.
He was three when he became a mixed drink of one part left alone and
two parts tragedy.
Started therapy in eighth grade,
Had a personality made up of tests and pills, lived like the uphills
were mountains and the downhills were cliffs,
four fifths suicidal–a tidal wave of anti depressants and an
adolescence being called “Popper”.
One part cause of the pills, 99 parts because of the cruelty.
He tried to kill himself in grade ten when a kid who could still go
home to mom and dad had the audacity to tell
”Get over it.”
As if depression is something that can be remedied by any of the
contents found in the first aid kit.
To this day he is a stick of TNT lit from both ends–could describe to
you in detail the way the sky bends and
the moments before it’s about to fall.
And despite an army of friends who will call him an inspiration he
remains a conversation piece between people
who can’t understand sometimes being drug free, has less to do with
addiction, and more to do with sanity.
We weren’t the only kids who grew up this way.
To this day, kids are still being called names.
The classics were:
Seems like every school has an arsenal of names getting updated every
And if a kid breaks into school and no one around chooses to hear it,
do they make a sound?
Or are they just background noise to a soundtrack stuck on repeat
When people say things like
“Kids can be cruel!”
Every school was a big top circus tent and the picking order went
from acrobats to lion tamers, from clowns
to carnies, all of these miles ahead of who we were.
We were freaks.
Lobster-claw boys and bearded ladies, Oddities juggling depression
Playing solitaire, spin the bottle trying to kiss the wounded parts
of ourselves and heal.
But at night, while the others slept, we kept walking the tightrope.
It was practice, and yeah some of us fell but I want to tell them
that all of this, is just debris
Left over when we finally decide to smash all the things we thought
we used to be
And if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better
mirror, look a little closer, stare a little
Because there’s something inside you that made you keep trying
despite everyone who told you to quit.
You built a cast around your broken heart and signed it yourself
You signed it
“THEY WERE WRONG!”
Because maybe you didn’t belong to a group or a clique.
Maybe they decided to picked you last for basketball, or everything.
Maybe you used to bring bruises and broken teeth to show and tell but
never told, because how can you hold
your ground if everyone around you wants to bury you beneath it?
You have to believe that they were wrong.
They have to be wrong.
Why else would we still be here?
We grew up learning to cheer on the underdog, because we see
ourselves in them.
We stemmed from the root planted in the belief that we are not what
we were called.
We are not an abandoned car stalled out left sitting empty on some
And if in some way we are, don’t worry, we only got to walk and get
We are graduating members of the class of
**We made it.**
Not the faded echoes of the voices crying out “Names will never hurt
Of course they did.
But our lives will always ever continue to be a balancing act
That has less to do with pain,
And more to do with beauty.
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