No Brackets on my Tongue
Why you (wan’) change me?
Why you (wan’) me speak
like your Queen when I
have my own monarchy?
(I’se) liberated now!
What part of my tongue, you can’t understand?
Why you don’t never try to?
You have my people
(wit’) my color
(correckin’) me, (teachin’) me that our language
(ee’n) have no business
on our land.
You have Caribbean English
classes that (wan’) tame my tongue
in brackets and italics!
I (tought) we liberated (na’)?
What wrong (wit’) me wanting to feel
planted in my throat, whipping off my tongue?
What wrong (wit’) sounding
like whining waists and goat skin drums?
You (wan’) chap up words
to make it easier for you to read!
But you (gin’) read this here poem.
You (gin’) listen to me:
I know plenty a’ tings, you could learn.