Friday, 20 June 2014

To This Day... By Shane Koyczan.

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 favourite,
She let me keep doing it.

Not really a big deal...

One day,
Before I realized fat kids are 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 afraid I’d get in trouble,
For playing somewhere that 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,

Pork Chop….

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 stones,
As if broken bones,
Hurt more than the names we got called,
And we got called them all,
So broken heart strings bled the blues,
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 for it to metastasize,

It does….

She was eight years old,
Our first day of grade three,
When she got called ugly,
We both got moved to the back of the class,
So we would stop get bombarded by spit balls,
But the school halls were a battleground,
Or learn to stay still like statues giving no clues that we were there,
In grade five they taped a sign to 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 they’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,
Because she’s only ever always been amazing,

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 8th grade,
Had a personality made up of tests and pills,
Lived like the uphills were mountains,
And the downhills were cliffs,
A tidal wave of anti depressants,
And an adolescence of being called popper,
One part because of the pills,
Ninety nine 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 him “get over it” as if depression,

To this day,

And if a kid breaks in a school,
And no one around chooses to hear,
Do they make a sound?
All of these were miles ahead of who we were,
We were freaks,
Lobster claw boys and bearded ladies,
And yes,
Some of us fell,

That all of this..
This is just debris,
Leftover when we finally decide to smash all the things we thought,
We used to be,
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 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 are not abandoned cars stalled out and,
Sitting empty on a highway,
And if in some way we are,
Don’t worry,
We only got out to walk and get gas,
We are graduating members from the class of Go Away, We Made It,
Not the faded echoes of voices crying out,
Names will never hurt me,

Of course,
They did,

But our lives will only ever always,
Continue to be,
A balancing act,
And more to do with beauty...

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