keep it to yourself

from by brad yoder

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Eric was my first friend to tell me that he loved men
in a letter he sent when we were 19 years,
I didn’t know if he hoped that we were in the same boat,
and though the answer was no, we’re all just trying to row..

Susie tried to fit in, she even had a boyfriend,
did her best to pretend that she was into him,
suffered through the prom dress, suffered through the slow dance,
wishing she could slow dance with someone in a prom dress,
it’s as if they made a law, and hung it up on every wall
that says: "keep it to yourself , we won’t ask if you won’t tell
if you’re different from the rest of us, we would rather not discuss it,
keep it to yourself at all costs.."

when you were young they told you to always tell the whole truth,
and that the best you can do is just to be yourself ,
but then you read the fine print, defining what’s accepted,
and so you tried to mind it till that left you half-dead..
Jesus was a misfit, hung out with the queer kids,
scandalized the priesthood, it’s pretty clear where he stood,
it’s as if they made a law..
..different from the rest of us, at least that’s what we tell ourselves
keep it to yourself.. ..but if you keep it to yourself
we’ve all lost...


from excellent trouble, released October 1, 2010



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brad yoder Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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