They say to come again when I speak their language,
When I can properly pronounce my vowels
without overshadowing my consonants.
They tell me to wash my mouth clean of my identity,
To silence my voice—
Enunciate the language of my colonizers.
They seek to remind me of the tragedies
my ancestors lived through, survived,
Seek to make me oppressed—
Lost in a trance-like state of being like de white people dem.
Well, ah seh, ‘No can do.’
You tell me fuh wak on fiyuh nah mean me guh do it—
same way me nah lose—
This tongue of mine is already a grey area;
But I beg to differ,
Colour bursting from the tip of my tongue
With every word I speak.
And I speak my truth in this creolese fashion,
Knowing that when marnin’ come,
I will be deemed illiterate.
They tell me to forget my mother tongue;
in the same sentence they remind me to be myself,
As if all that I am,
This rich cultural history,
Can be emancipated so easily.
They remind me that I am free;
In the same manner they think of their breakfast options for the day—
Pondering over their choices and deciding if it was the right one.
They tell me to bleach my language away,
As if it is easy to rid myself of this dark brown mother tongue,
As if my six
Don’t combine their speak,
Turn it into a country.
The simple turn of tongue over teeth
To sound out ‘th’ in the way a serpent speak
Hisses at trespassers.
They call themselves the majority,
For they have no colour in dem speak or dem skin;
My language was built through a melting pot,
A background of slavery and indentureship.
Because de white people dem
Mix up my kulsha,
dem have tuh know dat one, one dutty build dam.
Every piece of my history,
This rich cultural diversity,
Holds a place in moulding the person I am
And the person I will be,
So dear white people dem,
Don’t go reminding me to
Change the way I speak
Because you think it necessary.
I speak my speak
And you speak yours
With your enunciated language
That ages back to centuries,
And my newborn tongue
That is still finding the key
To this home,
I have built on this
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